Monday, December 15, 2014

December MAGAM Challenge decided

Continuing on my stashbustin' quest - I've decided to a skirt from the remaining fabric from this jacket.  I just couldn't bear to part with the leftovers from that jacket and I have just enough to squeeze out this mock-wrap skirt.  I'm going to make view E - the slightly longer view with the flounce down the front, but I want to also incorporate the peplum around to the back as pictured in view F.

The main body of the skirt will be the felted wool, the gray will be the peplum and the flounce and the white will be the lining.

I've even done a test muslin so far and miraculously - it fits first time!  OMG!  I don't know what happened here!  My wool fabric is very thick so I added a little to my pattern to compensate for that. My practice fabric is a thick home dec print that someone at work gave me because they didn't want to throw it away.  I told them I could put it to good use and it's worked quite well here as my tester muslin.

Of course the peplums will be doubled and will drape better than my test fabric here, but you get the idea.  I will need to add 3/8 inch to the small peplum on the left front, but other than that, it's fitting pretty nicely.

I started with size 14 waist and added 3/8 inch to the sides at the hips to accomodate the bulk of the fabric. There will be so many layers along the waistline, that I'll try to trim them down as much as possible during the construction process.

So far, I'm off to a good start!  I'm sure something will happen before I finish though.

Wish me luck!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

November MAGAM Challenge Done!

I'm just a bit behind with sewing, but I have a good excuse.  I was on vacation for almost two weeks around Thanksgiving in November so my sewing time was shortened.  We ventured to the cold of Quebec City and Montreal and had a great time.  Here's a pic from Quebec City of me doing my best interpretation of an Eskimo!

Ok, on with the sewing update.  My November MAGAM Challenge is complete - a rather simple garment this month.  I made Vogue 8854 out of a polka dot fleece from my stash.  The pattern has three different version - a sleeveless top that I made, one with sleeves and a pocket in the front and another with a hood.  Due to my limited fabric - the sleeveless version was my only option.

I think it turned out quite cute!  I trimmed the armholes and the hem with some matching lycra I had in my stash.  The collar pictured on the pattern envelope stands up like the one below, but I just figured that would get in the way too much, so I didn't sew on the 4th snap near the top because I thought I would more likely wear it with the collar turned down as pictured above.

I trimmed the collar seam by sewing some soutache braid along the seamline.  A subtle element, but I think it adds a little something unexpected.

Here's a close-up of the armhole binding.  I lowered the bottom of the armhole 1" because it was just a bit snug.  I will be wearing this over another top, and I didn't want it to bind up under the arm.

My center front makes you look twice at the different halfs of the dots.  I tried and tried to line up the same color down the front when cutting out the pattern, but I just didn't have enough fabric to do so. However,  I think this adds a little quirkiness to the garment too.

The hemline is a shirttail hem that I also trimmed with the lycra strips.  I shortened the overall length of the garment by 3 inches.  It falls at a much more pleasing spot on my body now.

Here's a better look at the soutache braid along the back.

Just a quick post today as I'm still trying to catch up and get back into the swing of things after vacation.  That's it for now!

Oh - and to add to the Stashbustin total since July - this puts me at 43 yards!  Yippee!  I'm starting to think about my goal for next year too.  I think sewing 100 yards out of my stash is a bit ambitious, but I might think about 80 yards for the year? That sounds kinda doable?  What do you think?

Happy Sewing everyone!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November Make A Garment A Month Challenge Project Determined and a Bonus Project Completed!!

This month's theme is "November nights".  To me - November nights means something warm and cozy and comfy.  So, continuing on my stashbusting quest, I found this polka dot polar fleece in the closet.

I originally wanted to make some pajama bottoms, but I only have a little over a yard so that wouldn't work.  So instead, I'm going to make Vogue 8854 - view A - the sleeveless vest pictured on the pattern envelope below.  I also found some matching turquoise spandex in the stash that I'll use to trim the armholes and possibly the hemline too.  And, that darn turquoise soutache braid that I tried to incorporate into my last project (but didn't work) just happens to match this one too!  I'll see where I can fit it in.

The pattern calls for 4 snaps too and I found some in my stash already covered in black - Score!  The snaps were probably leftover from something I donated to charity, but decided to remove them first (I tend to do that alot!).

Bonus Project!

Here's my bonus project - just completed tonight.  This month as part of our sewing guild's charity commitment, we are making pillowcases to be donated to CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocates.  The pillowcase features a drawstring around the end so it can double as a bag.  The idea is that kids can use the pillowcase for it's intended purpose and also, it can be used as a bag to carry out clothes or other personal belongings when a family situation arises and they need to leave their home.

I tried to find some kid related fabric in my stash and found this cute goldfish print I bought a few years ago.  I have no idea what I originally purchased it for, but it seemed to fit this purpose perfectly.  I did purchase the coordinating blue and orange polka dot fabric to match.  The ribbon in the casing is finished with buttons so it doesn't slip thru the buttonholes.  

Here's a close-up of the goldfish.  I just love how they all have their own names!  Hopefully the children who receive these pillowcases will enjoy the fish and come up with their own names too.

Since this bonus project is complete and it was from the stash - I can now add it to my stashbustin' total.  I made 3 of these pillowcases for a total of 2.25 yards sewn, bringing my balance up to 41.75 yards total since July.  I am jammin!

However, we are going on vacation soon and I fear my tendency to buy fabric on vacation will set me back a bit on my quest.  I will try hard though - to only buy things that coordinate with something I already have in the stash.  But, if I do sway from my goal, please don't scold me!

Until next time - Happy Sewing!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Vogue 1331 - It's Finished!

I have been working on this coat for over a month and it's finally done!  It's taken a long time to complete, but I am very happy with the results.  There are a few things I would change, but like they say - if you can't see it from a galloping horse - then don't worry about it!  If you would like to see the entire process from start until completion - I've included quick links to each post at the bottom.

Here are the final pics:
Yeah!  It's all done!

Side view - still yeah!  It's all done!!

Front - with all of the embellished circles, buttons, collar, etc.

Close-up of the collar

Closer close-up of the collar

Back of the collar.  The collar is meant to be shorter than the collar stand - that's why you can see the collar stand peeking out underneath.

Back view.  It reminds me of a butterfly.  Maybe I'll call this my Butterfly Coat?

Close-up of one embellished circle.  The couched yarn will continue to get fluffier
with each wear as the fibers work themselves loose from the zig zag stitches.

Side view

The sleeve hem needed a little extra love so I added some of the yarn here too.

Close-up of one button

Lining front

Lining back

Here's the total yardage breakdown for this project:

Tweed overlay - 3 yards
Green base wool - 3 yards
Purple wool for sleeves - 1 yard
Tie dye lining - 2 yards
Off white lining - 1.5 yards
Grand total = 10.5 yards in this coat alone!!

I have no idea how many yards of the yarn I used for the embellishment or how many bobbins I filled to do the couching.

This brings my stash bustin' total to 39.5 yards so far since July.  This coat has made quite a dent but I still have a long way to go.  I am very happy this project is finally done.  Now it's onto a few easy projects before the next big one.

Below are links to the entire sewing process.

The beginning
The muslin
Additional overlay concept
Fit test
Thread play
The lining
Cutting, sewing and embellishing the circles
The buttons

Until next time - Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Vogue 1331 - The Buttons

I knew it would be impossible to find buttons to match this coat so I decided to try something new. Having been recently disappointed with the new Dritz covered buttons kits I decided to try my own version.  FYI - the teeth on the new kits just aren't long enough to hold them together and they fall apart - I wrote the company, but of course never heard a reply from them.

Starting with a scrap piece of the green wool, I couched the yarn in lots of different directions.  I have a bunch of these black ball buttons in my stash and thought I would try covering them.

Next, cut out a circle larger than the button and sew a running stitch about 1/4 inch from the outside edge.

Put button inside and cinch up the thread around the button shank.

Keep cinching and sew back and forth on the back of the button until it feels secure.

Here's the front of the button - much more fitting for my coat!

And here's the back of the button.  There is just enough of the shank showing (although it's hard to see in the pic below) to be able to sew it onto the jacket.

One step closer!

That's it for today.  Until next time - Happy Sewing!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Vogue 1331 - Sewing, cutting and embellishing the circles

Moving right along with Vogue 1331 - the next step in the process is to sew, cut and embellish all of those circles. First, remove the basting stitches at the shoulder seam so the jacket will lay flat.

Using the template I previously created, cut out some additional circles to match the various circle shapes.  Lay the template over the jacket front piece lining up all edges.

Slide one of the cut out circles underneath the larger template so it lines up with the existing circle.

Holding smaller circle, fold the larger template back out of the way and trace around the circle using a wheeled chalk marker.

Remove smaller circle and voila - you have a chalk traced circle line to sew.

Repeat this same process for all of the circles on the coat.

Once every circle is traced, sew around the chalked lines and cut out the overlay fabric, being sure not to cut the green layer underneath.

Then, it's time to start embellishing with the variegated yarn.  Here's a sneak peak of the back....

That's it for this post.  This jacket is very, very time consuming and I'm hoping to finish it by the end of this week so I can move onto something else.  So far, I'm happy with how it's turning out, thank goodness!

Until next time - Happy Sewing!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop - stopping in California

The "Around the World Blog Hop" has been passed onto me from Mary in Arizona who writes biblioblog.   Moving from the cacti and hot weather of Arizona, California seems to be depicted as sunny beaches, blonde hair and tanned skin.  Our nearest beach is about 3 hours away, I'm a brunette and have very pale skin but still consider myself a California Gal.  I have lived in Northern California almost my entire life.  I lived in London, England for 4 months during college thru a "Study abroad for a semester" program.   During that time, I met my husband in Dublin, Ireland on St. Patrick's Day in 1991 and we later married that same year in November and we have been happily married ever since.

We live in what's called the Sierra Foothills.  It's a wonderful little town we call home and we enjoy seeing the varied wildlife around our house.  I don't appreciate it when the neighborhood deer eat my plants, but that's a whole other story.  Every other year we have one to two new fawns born in our backyard so we are sort of the neighborhood "deer nursery" if you like.

Ok, enough about me and my general area - onto the Blog Hop questions.

Question 1: What am I working on?
Currently, I am working on Vogue 1331 - a Koos Couture coat that I am changing up quite a bit.  It is my October Make a Garment a Month Challenge project and it is turning out to be quite a project.  I expected that when I decided on it as my project and will be glad when it's finally finished.

In July of this year I joined a "Summer Stashbust".  I can proudly say I have been sewing only from my stash since July, but have yet to make a noticeable dent in it.  A number of years ago my husband said that if I depleted my stash he would take me on a trip to New York to replenish it.  Well, I'm thinking I might sew everything up in the next year or two so New York - look out!  I'm considering making this stashbush some sort of challenge for others as well, but I'm still mulling that over in my head.

Question 2: How does my work differ from others of this genre?
Excellent question and a tough one to answer at least for me.  As a sewer, I think I look at garments differently than the average person.  I look at the lines of the pattern and the fabric combinations. How well does it fit?  Does it work with other things in my closet?  What about trims and fun stuff to mix it up a bit - how could that be incorporated?  My husband often says I just can't leave something alone because I think it always needs a little something else - some sort of embellishment.  So to answer the question I guess my garments have a little "something unexpected".

Question 3: Why do I write/create what I do?
I have been sewing, crafting, and just generally making stuff my entire life.  I think I was born with a pair of scissors in one hand.  I have never liked wearing the same things that everyone else wears.  I've shopped at thrift stores and yard sales for as long as I can remember always striving to find something different or something I could change up a bit.

I started sewing when I was five years old.  My Nannie (my mom's mother whom we nicknamed Nannie) taught me how to sew.  Oddly enough - my mom doesn't sew at all!  I was in 4-H for awhile, but didn't care for their sewing techniques.  My Nannie could sew without a pattern and would just cut something out freehand and it would fit perfectly.  I'm not quite that good, but I think alot of Nannie's talent has been passed down to me.

Here's a picture of me at age 10 holding a doll that I made the dress for.  I used to carry these little dolls with me everywhere and they had a huge wardrobe that I made for them.  My Nannie made the dress I was wearing too.  All of my clothes were handmade by Nannie until I was in the 5th or 6th grade when I clearly remember wanting something with a "label" in it from the store.  My first store bought item was a blue pair of knickers (capri type pants - not underwear for you folks in the UK) with a label on the outside (I was so excited about that!) with a matching white blouse with blue stars on it.

Here I am at 18 making my prom dress.  Like my splatter painted walls?!?!?   So totally 80's!

Question 4: How does my writing/creating process work?
My sewing process is pretty much depicted in the picture above so I haven't changed my habits too much.  I either start with a pattern or a bunch of fabrics on the floor and start playing with them.  I usually have a few piles on the floor of potential next projects that get moved from place to place before they actually make it to the cutting board.

When I eventually cut into the fabric, it may take a few more twists and turns before it's finally completed.  Oftentimes I will leave something on the floor of my room if I am undecided and come back a few times trying to take a fresh look at it.  If all else fails, get out the box of ribbons and trims and start playing again!

That's it for me.  I'm now passing the blog hop onto Winter Queen who resides across the pond in the UK.  She has a wonderful little blog and has made an ironing board cover that is absolutely adorable and has inspired me to create a new cover for my ironing board too.  It's actually inspired a "laundry room redo", but that's a whole other blog post!  Stay tuned!

Until next time - Happy Sewing!