Saturday, March 28, 2015

March MAGAM Done!

I love my March MAGAM outfit!

The skirt is Anna Maria Horner's Study Hall Skirt and it is my new favorite skirt pattern.  The top is Simplicity 1808.  I can see a few more of these tops in my wardrobe - along with a dress.  And remember in my announcement post about this top how I mentioned the printing of the Simplicity pattern was incomplete?  Well - I sent an e-mail to Simplicity explaining the problem and including a link to my blog page showing the picture and they sent me a brand new pattern - no questions ask!  What great customer service!

The skirt is fairly simple to make.  Here's the back view.  It's basically panels sewn together and then folded onto each other and sewn on the seamlines to make the box pleats.

I didn't have enough yardage for all of the pattern pieces so I ended up piecing the top portion of the side back pieces.

I added some fun double fold bias tape to the inside facings too.

And I thought my trim for the bottom looked a bit plain on it's own so I added Ric Rac to both sides while sewing it onto the bottom section.  I think the Ric Rac sort of looks like petals - don't you?  I did add 1 inch to the length of the bottom contrast fabric to get the length I prefer.

And the piece that ties it all together - my $4.97 necklace before....

Add some fingernail polish....

And voila!  A perfectly matched necklace and earrings.

I used 2 yards out of the stash to make the skirt so this brings my YTD stashbustin total up to 21 yards!  Yippee!  I can't count the blouse fabric because that was a recent purchase to match the skirt fabric and it hadn't truly aged long enough in my opinion to be considered a piece of stash fabric.

That's it for me today - Happy Sewing everyone!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Annual Garage Sale is Coming....

The Annual Sacramento Chapter American Sewing Guild Garage Sale is coming and you don't want to miss it!  If you live within a few hours driving distance of Sacramento, California, I highly encourage you to attend!  Last year I purchased almost 60 yards of fabric for a total cost of $78.30 - that's an average of $1.30 per yard!  You can't beat that!  And, I purchased some wonderful fabric - alot (not all!) of which has been sewn up into some great garments.

Event Details:
Sacramento Chapter American Sewing Guild
Annual Garage Sale
Saturday, April 11, 2015
North Highlands Community Center
6040 Watt Avenue
North Highlands, CA
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Here's a glimpse at some of the items I will be selling at the event this year.

I've sorted thru all of my patterns and will be selling over 100 different ones. So far, I have one overflowing plastic tub of fabric to sell, a dress form, and some books.  I'm hoping to have alot more books before the big day.

Interested in selling your own stuff at the sale - click here!

To see what you missed at last years sale - click here!

For a peek at all of the goodies I bought at last years sale - click here!

If you make it to the sale - please be sure to flag me down and say "Hi"!!  I would love to meet you and snap a selfie!

Happy Sewing everyone!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pockets to Go Notion Cube

This past Saturday, I attended a workshop to make the Atkinson Design Pockets To Go notions cube. I've been meaning to make this cube for awhile now, but this workshop finally gave me the push I needed to get it done.

We were required to have already purchased the pattern and have all of our pieces pre-cut, pressed and labeled before the workshop.  All of the labels and cutting instructions were also provided separately by our instructor.  I selected the three fabrics below from my stash for the cube.  

Our instructor did a fantastic job with the class.  She had an example, both in pictures and in actual fabric of every step in the process - I mean every step.  If you were lost or confused, she was right there to guide you through the sewing process.  If you needed a visual - you could check out the examples on the tables set-up in the center of the room.  There was a sewn example for each step in the process.  I didn't count the total, but I would guesstimate there were 30+ examples - you could tell our instructor had put in many, many hours of work for this class.  The examples and instructions were excellent.  

The class was scheduled to be 6 hours long, but our group was so quick - we finished in 4 hours - and that included a lunch break!

I am very happy with my little cube and look forward to making a few more for friends.
Here's the outside - with two zippered pockets (one on each opposing side).

And the inside with more slotted pockets.

These were all fabrics from my stash so of course I'm going to count these into my total as well!

Cube total yardage - 1 yard total
YTD total: 19 yards!!


Happy Sewing everyone!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

March MAGAM Determined

The theme for the Make a Garment a Month Challenge is "Mad March on March".  I"m going to use the "Mad" portion of the theme and make a new spring garment.  

I've selected the "Mad" portion of the theme for three reasons.

Reason #1 - my fabric selection looks a bit "Mad".  I'll be using the floral print and the blue/green polka dot with the crazy floral trim leftover from my last project to make Anna Maria's Study Hall Skirt.  The purple knit will be a t-shirt blouse out of Simplicity 1808.

Reason #2: I don't have enough of the floral print to easily cut out all of the pieces for the skirt so I'll have to piece a few of the pieces together.  That will be truly "Maddening"!

Reason #3:  Look at the Simplicity pattern print out below.  I mean really look at it.  What's missing?

It has the sizing lines but the "Front" and "Back" are not labeled on any of the pieces on this sheet along with all of the corresponding pattern numbers.  I'm sure it's just a printing error - but I wonder if all of these patterns were printed this way.  The second sheet to this pattern had all of the necessary information printed on the pieces but not this sheet.  If you have this pattern - be sure to pull it out and see if all of your information has been printed!

Wish me luck!

Happy Sewing!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Vogue 9031 - A Traffic Stopper!

Another stashbustin' skirt added to the wardrobe.  This skirt was made from the remnants of this jacket.  I made View A (the black/gray one pictured below), but with a small change.  See those little pieces on the upper side fronts that are cut from the contrasting fabric?  I decided to cut those little pieces from the tweed fabric instead of my contrasting fabric to make it blend better and I think I made a mistake.

When my skirt was all finished and it was hanging on the dress form patiently awaiting it's photo shoot - the DH walks in and says "Oh look - there's an arrow on the front".  An arrow, what do you mean an arrow?  Of course I hadn't even noticed the arrow shape until he pointed it out (no pun intended).  Now -  that's all I can see.  Once you see something, you can't "unsee" it. Just by changing those small little contrasting pieces - my skirt now has an arrow pointing up!  The backside always had the arrow hidden amongst the design lines, but of course I couldn't see that initially from the line drawing on the pattern envelope either.

Front view

Side view

Back view
Remember these shirts from the 80's?  This is what the skirt now reminds me of.
Baby in a corner

What happens if I fall down on the sidewalk while wearing it - will I be mistaken for a traffic sign and cause an accident - it is a green arrow after all!  What if I'm in the mood to do cartwheels on the sidewalk one day - what will happen then?  I can see the news headlines now - WOMAN'S SKIRT MISTAKEN FOR TRAFFIC SIGNAL - CAUSES MAJOR ACCIDENT AT INTERSECTION.  Will I get a ticket for wearing the skirt if this happens?  Would that be considered a wardrobe malfunction? What if I volunteer to hold the stop sign when school children are crossing the road - what then?  People won't know what to do - STOP, GO, TURN oh my!  I really need to think about my day ahead before dawning this skirt in the morning!

Before I had realized the traffic stopping possibilities of this skirt, I spent quite a bit of time adding extra touches to the inside finish of this skirt.  One little touch I am really happy about is the fun trim I added to the bottom hem on the inside.


This skirt is designed to be unlined and have a raw edge for the hem on the bottom.  Since my tweed fabric frays so much, I figured I would need to really hem it somehow and not settle for the frayed strings that would be tickling my legs all day.  After trying it on, I realized there was only room for a small 1/2" hem and that just wouldn't do so I rummaged thru my stash and found this trim.  I've had this trim in my stash since - well - probably sometime in the 70's and it's been waiting to bring it's bright and cheerful self out out of the trim box for 40+ years.

There is an advantage to this trim.  It acts as a sort of horsehair braid along the bottom edge and the hemline flares out just a little more than it did without the trim and I kinda like that. I also added some teal ribbon between the facing and the lining pieces.

Here's the process I used for sewing the trim to the bottom hem:

First - sew a basting line 1/2" from the bottom edge.

Next - with the right side up on the fabric, sew the wrong side of the ribbon to the edge, lining the edge of the ribbon up along the edge of the basting line.

Next - remove the basting line.

Next - turn and press the ribbon up onto the inside of the skirt and pin.  Hand sew the ribbon in place along the top edge.

Here's the stashbustin' numbers for this skirt:

Skirt: 1.125 yards
Lining: 1.125 yards
Total: 2.25 yards
Total YTD: 18 yards!!

That's it for today.  Wish me luck when wearing this skirt.  If it causes accidents, I will let you know!

Happy Sewing everyone!

Friday, February 27, 2015

February MAGAM Challenge Complete!

I am thrilled with my finished February MAGAM garment!  This month's theme was Frankenpattern - which basically means either marrying two patterns together or changing an existing pattern in someway.  I opted to combine two different patterns together.

Using the top portion of Simplicity 1607 and the bottom portion of New Look 6224 - this is what I came up with.

I didn't care for the original skirt that came with the top portion of this dress and think this circular style looks much better.

I didn't start out very good on the top portion from the beginning.  As you can see below, I completely missed the mark on lining up the celtic motifs at the side seams.  I knew this would drive me crazy so luckily I had enough fabric to cut a new back piece.  

The straps weren't as hard to assemble as they look either.  Below are all of the strap pieces cut out, interfaced and lined up at the shoulder seams.  After reading other reviews on, I opted to interface every single piece instead of just the underside of each one.  Then, on each side seam, I wrote in pencil either "F" for Front or "B" for Back.  This came in very handy during the construction process.

After sewing the shoulder seams together and trimming, you then sew the straps to their corresponding facing piece.  A trick I do is to use a red pin at the starting and stopping points of sewing.  As I'm sewing along, I know when I come to a red pin that some sort of "action" is needed - either turn a corner, start or stop.  In this case, the red pins indicated "stop sewing".  You can see below my red pins.

Here's one of the straps sewn together.

Next - trim, turn and press.

Next, sew the other shoulder seam together.  Once this is sewn, you interlace the other strap thru this one and sew the same shoulder seam on that piece.  Then, sew the straps to the bodice piece and your top portion is almost done!

I was quite impressed with the twirl factor - not too bad!

Back view looks pretty good.  I could have taken it in a smidgen, but I didn't want it too tight so I think this is almost perfect.

Close-up of the front.

Close-up of the back.

The outside of the dress looked so pretty, I decided to make the inside look pretty too.  I thought the sharp contrast of the blue lining on the bodice with the white lining on the bottom looked too similar to Snow White, so I decided to add a little bit of trim between the two to soften it up a little bit.

This trim has been in my stash for a long time and I only had an inch left over after hand sewing it on.

The bottom of the skirt lining didn't want to miss out on the fun, so I sewed some Rick Rack to it too.

And last, but not least, I sewed some plain white bias binding to the edges of the bodice near the zipper.

So - onto the stash bustin' total for this dress:

3 yards for the outside
3 yards of lining
1.5 yards practice muslin
Total of 7.5 yards for this dress alone.

Yearly total to date of stashbustin is:  15.75 yards.  Not too shabby!

That's it for today!
Happy Sewing everyone!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February FrankenPattern Muslin completed

I've completed the top half of the practice muslin for the February MAGAM Challenge and I think there might be something wrong with me.  After reading other reviews for this garment on - the majority of the people commented that the straps are a nightmare - I didn't think they were that big of a deal personally.  I really think there might be something wrong with my sewing brain!  Hopefully I won't mess up the straps on the actual finished product!

Here's a pic of the practice muslin of just the top portion (with yoga pants):

I used a size 12 for the bust and shoulder area and tapered to a 14 at the waist.  I did need to pin out a little over 5/8" at the center front, which I will transfer over to the final garment.  Other than that, I think it fits ok.  I did make a small boo boo on the front strap (sewing from the notch instead of the dot), but I was able to still pin it together in the muslin to get a test fit.  My birds are upside down on this front straps I know - I was trying to squeeze out the straps from the little bit of scrap fabric that I had and it doesn't matter here anyways.

Here's the side view.  Doesn't look to attractive with that little bit of skin flapping over the front near the armhole.  I was very surprised that it wasn't too high in the under arm area though.

Back view.  I might deepen the darts a little more on the finished garment, but I'm not sure yet.  I plan to fully line the entire dress and the weight of the skirt with the lining, might just be enough to even out those wrinkles along the back.  Also - I plan to underline the top portion with white and line the top with a blue rayon lining fabric from the stash. The skirt portion will be lined with a white polyester lining from the stash as well.  I did a test of the blue versus the white behind the main fabric and the blue was enough to just darken those Celtic knots a little too much - hence the reason for the white underlining.  No big deal - just 3 more pieces of fabric to just out.

That's it for now - now I need to cut this puppy out and start sewing!

Happy Sewing Everyone!