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I love to sew

I love to sew

Friday, February 28, 2014

Fearless February

Fearless February has come and gone.


So what does this photo have to do with anything? I'll explain later.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thursday Thoughts 2/27/2014

  • Just watch a Cole Porter biopic and I loved it!
  • I'm in the home stretch of finishing my Vogue 1320 coat.
  • It's like wrestling a bear.
  • Who knew this fabric was so heavy?
  • I love my husband!
  • The husband is insisting I give all the Barbies names.
  • Huh??
  • I'm in a bowling slump.
  • I need to finish the pillow shams for my bedding set.
  • Can't wait for golf.
  • I need a book to read.
  • Any suggestions?
  • I read "Flowers in the Attic" years ago and loved it.
  • Both movies that were made from it sucked!
  • How is it possible to get it so wrong?
  • I need to purchase ink for my printer.
  • A new member of my string ensemble "hijacked" our last practice.
  • How to reign her in without any hard feelings?
  • Need to practice later today.
  • Reality TV -- is that what we are reduced to?
  • Bring on Gunsmoke!
  • Still haven't used the new serger.
  • There are Barbies in every room of the house except my husband's "Man Cave" and his bedroom!
  • Was taking a break from the bear (Vogue 1320) gotta get back to it to be able to finish it by tomorrow night.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Vogue 1320 Coming Along Nicely

While I didn't officially join Victoria's Fearless February Challenge, unofficially this is my project. Of course I waited until the last minute because in my mind I work better under pressure. In all honesty, my everyday coat is starting to look quite crappy and I need another one ASAP.

I cut the main pieces last week but didn't start sewing until yesterday because I hadn't picked up the lining.





I think this lining is going to be the perfect compliment to the garment fabric.







So far everything is coming along nicely. The only issues so were the pockets and sleeves and that was mostly operator. Sometimes, as I've told my students, understanding will come from doing. I did manage to sew the sleeves in on the opposite side. I can't remember if that happened before or after that heaping goblet of wine! Note to self...don't drink and sew. My fabric isn't one that is easily unsewn so upon completion of that task, another heaping goblet of wine was required! After that I called it a night.

Some of my observations so far:
  1. Didn't need an FBA
  2. Didn't need to sew the size 22
  3. A little bigger than needed
  4. I don't mind a coat being a little big
  5. It's longer that I thought
  6. Don't have a problem with #5
  7. I don't like sew-in interfacing
  8. I used Batiste for #7
  9. I prefer hand basting sew in interfacing
  10. I'm using fusible interfacing for my hems
  11. I always do in #10
  12. Other than unpicking, my fabric is a dream to work with
  13. The pattern is labeled easy
  14. Number 13 doesn't mean boring
  15. Love the deep pockets
  16. I'll be able to finish this coat before the end of the month
  17. Must stay away from the wine
  18. Five days and counting

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Say Hello To My Little Friend

Do you know what your looking at? Well, I'll tell you. It is the end of the upper looper for one of my sergers! WTH?


Do you remember a couple of years ago I started having problems with the serger only after I had it cleaned? Nothing was wrong with it but I'd had it nearly 20 years and decided it was time to give it some TLC. That was a major mistake. I've not been totally happy with it since. This week when I was altering a dress for a customer, the machine came unthreaded at the end of the sewing. When I opened the "door" to re-thread it, this piece was just sort of hanging loosely on some thread. I knew it was trouble. The service center in my area charges $135 to walk a mechanical machine in the door. What can you do? I took it in yesterday and after examining it was told it would be at least $180 to repair. Oh hell! I decided to just buy another one. 


I was in luck. I got this new-in-the-box Necchi made my Janome for $215 including tax. Happy days are here again! I also thank God that I have the income that allows me to be able to afford my hobbies!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Missoni-esque Tee

Happy Friday everybody. I absolutely couldn't wait to shall my "Missoni-esque" tee-shirt. First and foremost, thanks Faye for the fabric. Faye unselfishly sent me the piece of fabric that was left over from a dress she made. I was supposed to use it to make a pencil skirt but you know how that goes. I wanted a new top to wear today so I pulled out McCalls 6796.


After trimming the pattern I made my usual FBA by adding a side seam bust dart. Little did I know I didn't have enough fabric for the collar. Bummer. Of course I didn't let that deter me. My sleeves are somewhere between bracelet length and short sleeved. For the neckline finish I simply ran a stitch 1/4" from the edge. Using Steam-A-Seam, I folded the edge under and top-stitch using a 3.0 mm stitch length.






Other than the hems and neck edges, I constructed the entire thing in less than an hour and...wait for it...on my serger! I rarely construct my garments on the serger but this was an exception. I also rarely use pins when I sew either. Did you get a look at how the pattern matches? Tell me I'm not the cats meow! I inserted the sleeves in the round as I always do. Old habits die hard! When the pattern said fast and easy they weren't lying. I shortened the pattern 2 1/2" because  it was ending in an unflattering spot. I used 1" hems (with Steam-A-Seam). In all I love it. I stole a page from Carolyn's book on the slacks. They're elastic waist, wide-leg and super comfy. They only reason it won't be in heavy rotation in my wardrobe is because the pattern is so striking and easily remembered.

Barbie of the Week


This week's Barbie is wearing a super cute Leopard coat. Actually this coat almost wound up a wadder. The pattern is McCalls 5462 circa 1991. The drawing on the pattern envelope is super cute and when I found the fabric at Salvation Army, I knew it was a go! Wrong. The proportions were all off...sleeves and super wide, collar too long, and length was matronly. In the end I sewed deeper seams for the side seams and sleeve and whacked the bottom. I like it a lot better now. Of course I sewed the faux-leather dress...you've seen it before and I made the jewelry. This doll was gifted to me in poor condition which include ink on face and hair a mess. Of course I worked my magic on her and am proud of my handy work.!


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Vogue 1320

Now that Winter is coming to a close, I've decided to sew another coat. Yeah, I know. I'm backwards. After perusing my stash I settled on Vogue 1320.


I made a small FBA to be on the safe side. Instead of a horizontal side seam dart, I'll ease the fullness into the seam. What's the since of have a coat that doesn't button around your boobs?



This fabric has been in my stash for quite some time. I picked it up at an estate sale. I'm using swatch pictured first as the right side. My plan is to use a gold crepe back satin for the lining. I'll probably find a simple button from my stash but don't think I'll attempt buttonholes and use snaps instead. This fabric is so think I can't pin through both thicknesses of it! I was going to underline it but that idea is out the window. The weight of this fabric alone and a lining will be more than enough. I want it finished by the end of the month. The construction seems pretty straight forward and shouldn't be a problem. Yikes! I just realized there are only 10 days left. I'd better get moving! Wish me luck.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday Musings 2/17/2014

  1. Another Monday and another Winter weather advisory. Enough already. Flint, Michigan has had the second highest snowfall in the state this year and I have had enough! Spring won't get here fast enough.
  2. I braved the weather yesterday and made it to church. Little did I know how bad the weather was and how treacherous the roads really were. I prayed the entire way!
  3. On the way out the door I grabbed a Sprite and a straw. I didn't want to ruin my lipstick.
  4. Out of a brand new bag, why did I get a straw with a crack in it. That was the most miserable drink I every had and I was dying of thirst!
  5. I had to take my shoes to church in a grocery story plastic bag. Time to either make or buy a tote!
  6. Yesterday I went to an absolutely wonder flute concert. The artist, Jessica Cech had a very inspiring story. A doctor of music, she developed "focal dystonia" she lost the ability to form an embouchure which almost ended her career. The fix...prayer
  7. I'm in the throes of an evening wear alterations. Yikes! Oh how I hate alterations. Not only am I removing 4" from the hem, but I have to take 1" on each side of the bodice top which encompasses removing and reinserting the zipper. It's not as bad as I first thought. The dress is from JCPenney but the construction is very "RTW" and won't involve me having to deal with a separate lining.
  8. Had to put the coat I'm working on for myself to the side...bummer.
  9. I'm still "playing with dolls."
  10. I'm working on a two-room doll diorama. It's coming along nicely. Am using recycled materials. Having a great time.
Barbie of the week (last week)


If you're old enough, you'll recognize this as a vintage Barbie. She is my original Barbie gifted to me by an uncle 50 years ago. She is wearing a vintage one-shoulder jumpsuit. When I removed her from the case I spotted the jumpsuit and had to put her in it. The accessories are not vintage. Before I could dress her I had to do a quick wash and repair job. The outfit was "child" filthy and literally falling apart. The waist seam was just held together by a few threads and the zipper was in no better shape. Here it is from the back.


Who puts a zipper in a Barbie outfit??? This doll is not in mint condition. There are scratches on her back and the family dog once chewed her face! My child mind proclaimed to everyone that "she had bad acne!"


It was not until I took the photo below that I realized vintage Barbies had some "serious side-eye" going on! LOL.


Like me, Barbie is still fabulous in her fifties! Stayed tuned!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Not Enough Sewing

Okay. No sewing going on here because there's too much of this going on...

'Nuf said!

Friday, February 7, 2014

One for me One for her

I finally sewed something for myself.I absolutely love Homespun. It's a 100% cotton, loosely woven fabric. I've had this piece for over a year and although it was earmarked for a different top, there wasn't enough of it. The bodice is Simplicity 2642 the rest is just two squares of fabric.


I added the infinity scarf to give it a cowl neck look and to make it look a little more "artsy."


It features a slight crossover bodice with gathering at the shoulder and elastic empire seam. I used foldover binding as a facing with stretch lace as a casing. I paired it with brown leggings and knee-high boots. It'll be a great "errand" outfit.

Of course I made another Barbie outfit. I have well over 50 Barbies and it's my plan to do an outfit every week this year or at least until my interest wanes. I'm still just having a great time with them. I even "rescued" a Tiana, of Princess and the Frog, from the Salvation are this week. She was only 65 cents so expect to see her in weeks to come. She needs a serious makeover. So without further ado, here's

Barbie of the Week 


She's wearing McCall's 6232 view F. You've seen the fabric before. I used it for my first maxi dress. The dress is best described at a "sleeveless, turtleneck, tank dress. Actually I had to take it in quite a bit because it mostly resembled a sack. That's right. They're doing some creative fitting on the pictures on the pattern envelopes even for dolls. I'll also add that sewing the turtleneck was a PITA. Do you know how small that is and with a knit fabric. All I can say is I don't have a clue where this commitment and patience has come from.