Archive: Aug 2015
My Tablecloth skirt, made with one of the pleated Paris stripes from Smuggler’s Daughter.
On my sixth blogiversary post I promised a giveaway, and here it is!
Susan, of Smuggler’s Daughter Fabrics has generously donated a $50 gift certificate to one of my readers!
If you would like a chance to win the gift certificate, please leave a comment below. I will draw a name randomly in a week or so. This contest is open to international folks.
Thanks for your generous gift, Susan! And, if you haven’t checked out Smuggler’s Daughter yet, please do! (You can also follow Smuggler’s Daughter on Facebook.) The story of why Susan used that name for her business is rather interesting…
(Do remember to check back to see if you’ve won. If I have no way to contact you, and I don’t hear from you within a week, I will draw a new name. Thx!)
I’ve mentioned that Rachel, of House of Pinheiro, organized a “SewPhotoHop” event on Instagram. As you can see in her announcement photo above, each day featured a theme topic.
Hundreds of people participated. In fact, as of this writing, almost 15,000 photos have been posted using this hashtag.
Here are the photos, with text, that I posted. I really thought about each topic. Though, on some days, I felt a bit rushed getting the image made and posted. While I enjoyed it, I’m glad it’s over!
And what did I learn? What did I get out of participating?
Well… a couple things.
First, I quickly learned that Instagram prefers a square image, and it (very annoyingly) crops images that use a portrait orientation. I googled and discovered that Instagram’s ideal image size is 1080 by 1080 pixels. OK, I can do that. I started cropping, collaging, and resizing my images, as well as adding text on top, mostly using Preview and Omnigraffle. This helped me improve some of my meager graphic skills!
Secondly, I “met” new sewers on Instagram. IG is a lively community with lots of enthusiastic sewers! If you’ve found my blog through Instagram… Welcome!!
Without further ado… the pics.
Day 1. Introduction. Hello! I’m Shams and I’m 57… Or 56. I can never remember and who cares?! I’ve been sewing since a little girl and blogging at Communing with Fabric for almost 6 years. I work as a tech writer but sewing for my uber busty body, in my kinda weird aesthetic, and blogging about it, is my passion! This is going to be an interesting month on IG! #sewphotohop
Day 2. Things I can’t live without. In this order: 1) inspiration, and plenty of it, 2) time to create and 3) my beloved tools! (This is just a sampling.) #sewphotohop
Day 3: Colorful. I wear a lot of black but love to throw in a pop of bold color, especially red and lime green. Today I am wearing red tennies and the other pic shows a chartreuse poncho I just bought from Ping Wu, a contestant from season 7 of Project Runway. Long live color!
Day 4: Work/Play. I work as a tech writer for Google, so I am on the computer pretty much all day. The pic on the left was taken on May 2014 as I worked at a walking desk. At home, I am online much of the time, being a blogger, and all. The pic on the right was taken today. In between, I squeeze in as much sewing as possible! My kids, who grew up watching me work at home for most of their lives, pretty much declared they didn’t want such a “boring” job. Little do they know! #sewphotohop
Day 5. Silhouette. I often say my shape is that of “a potato on toothpicks.” In other words, lots up top and little below. I can wear skinny pants, leggings, and short pencil skirts made from wild prints or white. But I have to avoid wrap tops, waterfall designs and excess fabric or frills up top. I spend a lot of time on FBAs and altering top and jacket patterns but, for me, pants are easy. A recent study in the UK showed that only 8% of women have my shape and I sometimes envy pear shaped women with actual waists who can wear so many fun tops that look atrocious on me. #sewphotohop
Day 6: Pattern that changed your life. I think it would have to be my Tablecloth Skirt. Several years back a friend saw a Lynn Mizono dress on Artful Home’s website for $500 and asked me how to copy it. I didn’t know. But months later I was looking at it online and a flash went off in my head and I realized it was quite simple. I posted the instructions on my blog and it was a hit. I’ve made at least five of them myself. About a year later #VoguePatterns came out with a pattern for Lynn’s dress, though it is now OOP. But you can use the pattern for the dress or the instructions for my skirt. It’s a win-win! #sewphotohop
Day 7: Sew up close. A closeup from my last make. You can see the fringed bias edging (fringed with my thumbnails) and one of the snaps covered with a scrap of lining. #sewphotohop #winsewphotohop @fabricgodmother
Day 8: Sewing playlist. I listen to TV shows or movies, generally things I have seen before or programs that don’t require my eyeballs. Here is a sampling. #sewphotohop
Day 9: Stash. <ahem> Enough said. #sewphotohop (Note, I found this cartoon on Facebook without attribution, so I don’t know who created it.)
Day 10: Who would I exchange closets with… While I wouldn’t exchange closets with anyone, these women own the closets I would most like to plunder! Margy, Dorothy, Ann, Heather, and Sarah have exquisite taste and own wonderful shoes and accessories, including many art pieces, as well as stunning clothes, many of them self made. I am fortunate to have these women in my life! #sewphotohop
Day 11: Bucket List. I don’t have a bucket list but I didn’t have to think more than 2 seconds for today’s topic. One day I hope to travel to Paris with Marcy and Katherine Tilton!!! #sewphotohop
Day 12: Motivation. I am equally motivated by garments I see in real life and by garments I see online. (Pinterest, anyone?) #sewphotohop
Day 13: Sewing space. This is where it all happens, baby! #sewphotohop
Day 14: Style. It’s hard to choose but this pic, and outfit, sums up my style fairly succinctly. I am a bit goofy, geeky, funky, and don’t mind standing out when I dress to my aesthetic. My clothes need to feature interesting “twists” and/or details; they must be at least somewhat flattering on my uber busty, waistless, and tiny-hipped figure and, above all, they must be comfy. This coat, which I call my “grommet duster”, is made from pinstriped denim and features almost 300 grommets and funky bellows pockets. I started with a Butterick dress pattern. You can read more here. I have been twirling since I started blogging 6 years ago, and that represents me, too. 🙂 #sewphotohop #winsewphotohop @stylemakerfabrics
Day 15: Secret corner of shame. Oy. Some sewists collect buttons. Not me. I collect zippers. I adore zippers. Here is a pile of my zippers. Confession 1: These were on the floor. So after taking this pic, at least they went into a bag. Confession 2: They had outgrown the previous bag! Confession 3: THIS IS NOT ALL OF MY ZIPPERS! #sewphotohop
Day 16: Tiny vs Big. Did I mention that I collect zippers? #sewphotohop
Day 17: Proudest achievement. This was a tough one for me. My proudest achievement is raising two great kids. (Raising them is much tougher than giving birth to them!) And I wouldn’t call this an “achievement”, exactly, but I was mighty tickled when Vogue Pattern Magazine asked to feature me as a “Star Blogger” in their Dec 2013/Jan 2014 issue. #sewphotohop
Day 18: Sewing resolutions. I am not a fan of making resolutions which can quickly lead to a sense of guilt and failure. I have lots of ideas and I choose a project based on what has the most “juice.” I like a challenge…even though they often intimidate me. 🙂 #sewphotohop
Day 19: Boldest fabric. It would have to be this beauty, which has been aging in my stash since buying it six years ago. 100% wool, it has the look of Yohji Yamamoto. The large holes are the size of dinner plates. #sewphotohop
Day 20: Learning & Practicing. I am ALWAYS learning and practicing. ALWAYS! It’s important to be fearless in taking on challenges. I learned this smocking technique and then used it at the hem of my pants. #sewphotohop
Day 21: Shades of summer. One of the summer-iest things I’ve made. I used a rayon challis border print from @britexfabrics on a 60-degree angle bias, and I sewed the entire thing by hand to control the bias better. It is one of my favorite things to wear on those rare days I find myself in hot weather. I also included a literal pic of my summer shades! (This pic was taken this summer when Mari of @Seamster patterns came to visit!) @plushaddict #sewphotohop #winsewphotohop @ddisciplines
Day 22: Last thing I made. #sewphotohop
Day 23: Favorite sewing technique. This was almost impossible to narrow down, but I guess I choose mixing! Mixing fabrics, fibers, elements. The coat used a wool from @britexfabrics and I knit the sleeves and collar. The shirt used a fabric panel from @marcytilton as well as a rayon challis and two quilting cottons, one a batik and the other a Japanese fabric. #sewphotohop
Day 14: Worst part of sewing. DITHERING! Dithering is a huge part of my process. I also dislike taping patterns together. #sewphotohop
Day 25: Behind the seams. I finished this linen duster with bias tape. I positioned the Geisha’s face so that she’s “got my back” (on the back facing). #sewphotohop
Day 26: Labor of love. I guess I’d have to say my wedding dress, though I made an even more involved dress for my SIL a year later. The year was 1989 and I was 29. We had a garden wedding so I didn’t want a train. I used glass pearls for the back because they had a better hang. I spent ages beading the lace with more glass pearls. I used boning, horsehair braid, the works. ‘Twas a long time – a lifetime – ago! #sewphotohop
Day 27: It’s been awhile. Several years back I decided to do at least one needle felting project per year. Its been several years! #sewphotohop
Day 28: Trims & Haberdashery. I don’t use trims much except using a selvedge as a decorative edging. I am a fan of zippers, but I’ve covered that in other posts. So here I’ve decided to acknowledge some of the other hardware I’ve used. I love hardware! Toggles and closures of all kinds. Rivets. Grommets. (The denim duster has 2 gross of grommets.) Studs. Weird ass metal thingies-I never did figure out what those were for but I put them in my self drafted cowl. I love it all! #sewphotohop #winsewphotohop @girlcharleeuk
Day 29: Eye level. This is what I’m looking at today. I’m hand sewing a binding. #sewphotohop
Day 30: Favorite era. This one! I’m not enamored with any particular decade and I love that today we can wear whatever we like, pretty much. But, if I could, I’d climb into Issey Miyake’s brain and watch the 70s, 80s, and 90s unfold. Miyake, born in Hiroshima, survived the bombing as a child, worked under some of the biggest French designers, and opened his own design house in 1970. He started publishing patterns with Vogue in the early 80s. His designs were completely new and incorporated origami, complex pleating, and technology. His innovations are still being copied today and continue to look avant garde and fresh. He retired from his design house in 1999 to pursue research. He also created 100 black turtleneck shirts for his friend, Steve Jobs. 🙂 I love you, #isseymiyake! #sewphotohop
Day 31: Last thing I bought. Some fun fabrics! The colors in these photos are a bit misleading. A) Perforated purple wool coating. B) Tattered white linen. C) Black (yes, black) textured cotton with mesh between each square. — @houseofpinheiro, thanks for organizing such an interesting photo hop with such thought provoking topics! #sewphotohop
Bonus play: Buttons or zippers. I did mention that I love zippers, right? Even my glasses have zippers! #sewphotohop
Hey Everyone!! I’m super excited to let you all know about my new affiliate WAWAK Sewing Supplies, which has been the #1 sewing source in America for over 100 years! They also stick to their lowest price guarantee! You can get 10% off your next awesome purchase if you click the banner above, or in…read more
Hellooooooooo! How are you guys doing? Everybody having a good day? I hope so! So, do you ever notice themes in your sewing? Lately my sewing has been all about fun fabric in a simple shape. Fussy sewing and fussy garments just aren’t very cool in the heat! So, for August’s Mood Sewing Network project*, […]read more
Hi all! I think we have a wonderful array of inspiration for wherever your needle and thread may take you in the coming weeks! From back to school items, to warm quilts, and cooler weather apparel, fall is really a wonderful time for sewing. Shimmer 2 from Jennifer Sampou In…read more
Kids love fun food and this Chocolate Spotted PB&J Puppy Sandwich is sure to get even the pickiest eater excited about lunch. This adorable sandwich made out of white flat bread is filled with peanut butter and jelly and decorated with chocolate spread, but it could easily be made with your child’s favorite sandwich fillings. […]read more
Without fail, at the end of every summer I can hear my mother’s bedside voice recite the opening lines to the Berenstain Bears, "Back to School". For don’t we all know that "when summertime ends and the weather turns cool, most little bears are ready for school." My cubs don’t…read more
The simple monogrammed pillowcase sounds like an easy task but when you think about the placement of the monogram you might re-consider. The monogram size should be generous; at least 2 ½ inches tall and is traditionally stitched directly on the band. Multi-needle machine owners have the advantage over single needle domestic machines because the […] Read more…read more
It’s certainly been fun to get to try lots of new restaurants and such since we moved to Nashville this summer, but it’s also been nice to have a few places we were already big fans of from our previous trips to town over the past few years. One of my favorite spots is a popsicle place called Las Paletas that sells some amazing popsicle flavors (avocado popsicle anyone?). I…read more
Holaaaaa!!!! Un abrazo muy fuerte a todas las seguidoras y un bienvenidas a aquellas caras nuevas que quieran aprender a coser, tejer y hacerse su propia ropa y la de sus pequeños 😀 Llevo ya unos días por Madrid, pero me han hecho falta para poder organizarme, organizar la agenda y planificar los post que vamos a compartir. La verdad que aún estoy planificando, porque el embarazo va en aumento, y ya no se cuando va a llegar mi gordito 😀 A partir de ahora puede venir cuando él quiera!!!! Y los planes pueden cambiar de un día para otro :S
y dos por mi tierra (Málaga) con mi madre, haciendo la croqueta en la piscina para pasar el calorcito!!!! Tengo que decir que esta vez me costó despedirme de mi madre más de lo habitual, será porque se que hasta el día del parto no nos veremos, y me dio muchísimo sentimiento, CON LO AGUSTITO QUE ESTABA YO CON ELLA 😀 Como nos hace falta una madre, aunque tengas 30!!!!!
So I am currently in LA (Eeeeee!) and wrote this post before I went so anything exciting that happened in the last couple of days in August is probably missing, I’m very sorry and will update as soon as I can! This month passed by in a crazy blur of a lot of work and very little sewing so despite being super excited about my trip I also can’t wait to get home and get a project under my machine! Writing this and looking at all the new patterns has made me really want to sew!
- Republique du Chiffon released the Areli Dress and Tunic. The design features a bib front and yokes which can be accentuated with colour blocking or piping. I really like the belted version of the dress.
- Fabrics for Sale released their very first pattern (the Tulip Co-Ordinates) which you can receive free with any order over £35. it’s really on trend and I like the amount of volume in the culottes.
- The new pattern from Blueprints for Sewing is the Saltbox, which a tee or tank with an asymmetrical design. The top is pieced at the front and back and the style lines are inspired by the shape of a roof.
- Seamster Patterns released the Sorrel Dress & Top. It features a peter pan Collar which is colour blocked into the garment rather than laying separately on top. I love this idea and also the proportions of the narrow collar and wide neckline which skims the collar bones. At first it will only be available as part of the first pattern bundle of Sewing Indie Month.
- The new release from Sew House Seven is the Rose City Halter Dress. It’s the kind of dress I’d love to be able to wear every day in summer and I’m seriously tempted by the pattern
- Itch to Stitch released two patterns this month, the Carey Top and Davina Dress (both currently on sale). The Davina is a very flattering cut and has 5 sleeve options!
- Hot Patterns released the Metropolitan Chimera Jacket. It’s a relaxed fit jacket, designed for stable knits with lots of variations including a vest and two sleeve lengths. I like how they’ve styled it for evening on the envelope.
- Style Arc‘s new releases for the month included the Courtney Top, Sabel Boyfriend Cardigan, Agnes Designer Dress, Mary Shift Dress (this month’s freebie with any purchase) and the Joni Knit Track Pant which I am really taken with the style lines for. These are cuffed and feature wrap around side seams.
- Lily Sage & Co released the Splash Swimsuit. I love this design, particularly the one piece which has an open back that cut’s around the size with angular design lines. I think this might be one that makes it’s way into my collection!
- I was really pleased to see a new pattern arrive from Salme Patterns, the Cut Out Halter Top. It’s another chic and simple design that I think would work well in a whole range of fabrics.
- Melissa from Fehr Trade released the Kimono Sweat which is a looser fitting activewear design than the rest of her collection. Perfect for layering or even wearing day to day.
- The Lemon Squeeze Cardigan is the new pattern from Snapdragon Studios. It’s a quick and easy project that looks great in loads of different fabrics. I love their lace sample version! Currently available in PDF form but the paper pattern is coming soon.
- Sew Over It released their Anderson Blouse as a PDF pattern. This isn’t the kind of style I usually wear but I’m quiet drawn to it for Autumn/Winter this year. I’m a big fan of Sew Over It patterns so I might give it a whirl.
- Waffle Patterns has just released the Monaca Drape Wrap Shirt. It’s an oversized design featuring a dropped shoulder and twist at the front that I’m quite fond of. I like the plaid sample version paired with jeans!
- And finally Make My Lemonade released the Nina Jumpsuit today! I love the look of jumpsuits on other people but am yet to find a design that I think would suit me and my short stature. I’m not sure if this one might overwhelm me a bit?
- See Kate Sew has been running a sew-along for her Callie Top. That’s sadly it for sew-along news this month, as far as I’m aware. I’ve noticed a decline in the number of sew-along posts recently and I do hope that it’s something that doesn’t peter out as I find them really useful, particularly for more complicated patterns. Although I appreciate that they most be very time consuming for the designers who are often working with limited resources.
- I was really excited to see Heather Lou from Closet Case Files put a call out for testers for a coat pattern. If I’d had more time on my hands at the minute I would have been on that like a shot! I can’t wait to see what kind of design she has come up with and am also looking forward to some coat making tips on her blog.
- The new pattern from Grainline Studio is being released tomorrow! I haven’t been able to work out what it might be from any sneak peaks I’ve seen so I can’t wait to see!
- Also coming tomorrow is the Autumn/Winter collection from Named. It’s entitled ‘New Black’ and I’m really keen on their contemporary aesthetic so I can see September being an expensive month pattern wise for me!
- Kristiann from Victory Patterns has revealed that she is hard a work sampling for new patterns now she has completed her book. In the future she will be releasing patterns one at a time at more regular intervals. I always felt she included some really interesting design details so I will be looking forward to seeing more from her.
- The autumn collection from Deer and Doe is also coming soon. I am always sad to see summer go but all these sneak peaks of autumn sewing have actually got me quite excited for the change in season!
- Pearl Red Moon has got two new patterns in the pipeline. The Hester Skirt is due to be released this week and Scarlett will be next, which is a tunic pattern including a zip fronted sleeveless jacket variation.
- Marilla Walker will fairly soon release a pattern for a kind of capsule wardrobe which includes pattern pieces to make up a jumpsuit, dungarees, dungaree dress and woven tee. Perhaps this will be the jumpsuit pattern I have been waiting for?!
Other Exciting News
- Sew House Seven PDF patterns have been reformatted to use less paper and copy shop versions are now available. I’m really pleased to see so many designer’s really thinking about the layout of their PDFs and trying to reduce waste and also assembly time.
- Victory Patterns‘ Kristiann has a book coming out soon! It’s called ‘Boundless Style‘ and includes mix and match modular patterns which you can play with to create your own designs.
- Wendy from MIY Collection updated her straight neck vest and dress pattern which is now called the Walkley Vest Dress. It now has a copy shop version and uses her new sizing system.
- I love Lindsay’s tropical interpretation of Pauline Alice’s Xerea Dress. I really like it belted and her choice to break up the print and highlight the style lines with the dark pipping works so well.
- This floral faux leather Robson Coat from Liz is so inventive and fantastic! I would never have thought to use this kind of fabric for it and it works so well!
- I adore this denim Alder Shirtdress from Jade. I need to get myself some chambray immediately!
- Dixie refashioned a shirt into her version of the Katy & Laney Tap Shorts and her creativity made my jaw drop! The placement of the stripes and the plackets down the side seams were such great choices!
- I’m having a bit of a denim moment and Rachel’s Laurel Shift Dress is such a fantastic wardrobe staple! I wasn’t going to revisit this pattern but maybe I should…
Husqvarna Viking FREE Projects 20 free sewing, quilting & embroidery projects provided by Husqvarna Viking in varying degrees of difficulty. There are projects covering every level of expertise from beginner to advanced and many levels in between. Download Nowread more
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Quick Overview Stay organized at your sewing machine with the GO! Sewing Machine Organizing Mat. Keep your frequently used sewing tools and gadgets at your fingertips. This great mat also works well with the GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter (5550…read more
Make these creative Halloween decorations. Scary enough to make your blood boil… Download Nowread more
Originally posted 2009-09-11 07:36:08. Republished by Blog Post PromoterOne of the things I love best about embroidery is that it is done in so many cultures and is so adaptable to many uses. Recently, I was looking through my books of charts and found Dover books of charted folk embroidery from Hungary, Baroque Germany, Ireland, […]
The first time I had a dyelot problem I remember clearly. Years before I had bought way too much of a dark green Persian wool. Being devoted to stitching from stash, I decided the color would be perfect for the background of a traditional piece i was making. I had one problem though, I had […]read more
Paper plate crafts are so much fun! We’ve made paper plate roses and other paper plate crafts with kids. But this time, we were inspired by imagination. Since my three-year-old pretends to be a fairy or a superhero almost every day, we crafted these quick and easy paper plate masks to help look the part! I love paper plate […]read more
As you can probably guess, I wear aprons pretty often. I highly recommend them. Honestly I don’t think home cooks wear them enough. I cannot tell you how many shirts I have saved because of my love of aprons. No really, I don’t know how many because I don’t keep track, but it’s a lot. Aprons, man, they are awesome. Plus they can be totally cute. Anyway, as I mentioned…read more