Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back in Time

On Saturday, December 29, 2007 I wrote:
New Year's Resolutions
I resolve to:

  1. Take better care of myself during the two on. Can't be an effective parent/person without this. No more "no dinner" for me. ---I did well on this goal. When my husband starting working two on, two off it was hard for me to manage my children, my full-time job, my side-business. I got tired and burned out and then I got sick. Doing all that when you are sick is no good. I have managed to figure it all out and now the kids and I do a much better job of managing things while my husband is gone.
  2. Take better care of my children during the two on. ---Ditto the answer to number one. When I feel better; my children feel better because I'm a better parent.
  3. Buy fabric wisely. Stop just buying the Bold and Beautiful. Buy some sensible fabric too. ---Yeah, I stopped buying just crazy knit prints but now I just buy, buy, buy!! But, it is nice stuff.
  4. Stop buying patterns that I don't use. Get TNT patterns for all the basics. (Work Pants: check, t-shirt: check, skirt: not yet, suit jacket or some dressier top: nope, A Couple of Fun Casual Tops: not yet.) ---Since I discovered BWOF, I now have lots of TNT things. I am still working on my wonky shoulders/bust area. Once I figure that out, I'll be golden.
  5. Four is enough. ---Apparently I have to be more detailed in my resolutions because I have no idea what the hell this one is about. I don't have four kids so it can't be that. I don't have four sewing machines so it isn't that. Hmmmm. I guess I really worked hard on this goal eh?
    Posted by Dawn at 4:37 PM

So, overall, I don't think I did too badly. I figured out a lot in a year. I'll be posting my resolutions for this year in a couple of days.

This bottom section is for Angie because she asked about the Glencheck. I plan to make this dress from BWOF 12/2008.

The line drawing? Meh. The model photo? Love it. I'll have to score a good belt to go with this dress. Below is the fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas to Me

This was my Christmas present to myself. I already have plans for one of them. From left to right they are Rayon Border Knit, Bright Navy Doubleknit, and Prince of Wales Glencheck. All of them are from Gorgeous Fabrics. I'll keep you posted about the sewing plans. The glencheck already has its destiny planned out.
Next on the list. BOOTS! No, husband did not get me four pairs. He bought me TWO pairs. Last Christmas I received the two on the far right. This Christmas I received the two on the far left. These are from DUOboots.com which is a UK company that makes custom-fit boots. I have very skinny calves and regular off-the-rack knee-high boots looked like pirate boots. These fit me perfectly! So, you'll be seeing photos of me wearing the new additions. Really, go to their website and have a look.

Hope everyone's holiday was as fun as ours. Our living room looked like a wrapping paper factory exploded.

Burda 09-2008 Blouse with Open Darts

This shirt looks horrible in these pictures. The shoulder/arm area is a mess. What other alterations would you suggest for me? I sew a lot of knit things but would like to sew more fitted woven jackets and things. I already do a shoulder to bust tuck of about a 1/2". That's usually the only thing I do. The sleeves really aren't all that bad but then again, pictures don't lie. It looks like there are puckers all over but there really are not. I swear. My shoulders really look like they are sloping down too, eh? This is BWOF 09-2008 #115. I am trying to figure out which kind of buttons to use. But, now I'm perplexed about the shoulders. I'll try a good pressing but the chest area also looks like it is all wrong now too. Dang it! This is really nice fabric too that my husband bought me. These are the only buttons in my stash that sort of work. They are a smokey gray but I think they are a bit too bit for this top. What do you guys think? The other problem with these buttons is that I don't have any more and I need two smaller ones for the cuffs.

Here is one of these cuffs. When I do the full review, I'll show you the other side (which is horrible).

Friday, December 26, 2008

Casualty of War


I was gently, diligently, carefully pressing my top (it's a secret for now!) using my seam gauge that Fabric.com sent me as a gift. Looking up, I can't find it.

"Where is that damn gauge when you need it?"

I search under the ironing board, under the shirt, under and around the boxes that are under the ironing board, and in my pockets. I finally look on the bottom of the iron. Double damn! When I was pressing the hem, I must have set the back of the iron on the plastic gauge. The gauge has melted onto the iron. I used two pins to scrape it off the iron. No long-term damage but my seam gauge is dead. Drat. I received it free as a gift with a fabric purchase from Fabric.com. Maybe I'll beg for another with my next fabric purchase.

Hope everyone had a happy holiday. I got some cool stuff that I'll share once I have some pictures.

Monday, December 22, 2008

BWOF - Year in Review Part II

Here is part two:

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

There are a few other things I plan to make out of this magazine but it probably won't happen this month.

Old Issues of BWOF

Enjoy! Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

BWOF - Year in Review - Part I

I'll be doing this in two parts so bear with me . . .
Thanks Lindsey T for telling us about Picnic. This is the program I used to make the collages.

March 2008 - My first BWOF magazine. I went a bit crazy with this one and made quite a few things out of it. I linked each of these to my PR reviews.
May 2008 - This was my second BWOF and also when I decided a subscription would be a good thing.
  • #105 - Overblouse - I made two version; one wool and one in stretch plaid. I wear the wool one all the time as a layering piece.
  • #104 - Dress with Waist Runching - I never did wear this to wedding for which I made it. It was too cold that day. Instead I wear it in the winter with tights and a knit top underneath.

June 2008 - This was my first magazine that came with the subscription.
  • #106 - Retro Blouse - I was only so-so with this when I made it but I wear it all the time too. I wear it with a light knit top under it to keep warm. I love the length and the drawstring waist tie.
  • #123 - T-shirt with Cut-Outs - I like this but never wear it. Maybe I can wear this this summer when it's warm.
  • #104 - Pants - I love these pants but dislike this color. I'll have to make these again but with a more neutral color.
  • #125 Pants with Hip Flaps - I love these and forgot to add them to the collage.

July 2008

  • #116 - Empire Top - This is made out of black eyelet and I love it. I haven't had many opportunies to wear this but maybe next summer.
  • #140 - Headscarves - I think they are cute; my husband says, "Dime store hooker . . ." You decide.

August 2008

  • #109 - Raglan T-shirt - This is my workout shirt. I wear it when I run indoors on the threadmill.
  • #109 - Skirt with Front Pleat - I like this skirt but don't wear it that often. I should have underlined the fabric. (I just realized that one of these numbers is wrong, I'll have to figure that out. Oops!)
  • #118 - Tunic Dress - I shortened this to top length. I made it out of sweater knit and it's cozy.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Late to the party . . .

A few of my friends have been working at me for a while now to join Facebook. I finally did it and it's like High School all over again. I only had one "Friend" for a while and it kinda actually makes you sad. But, since I've been on since yesterday I've "talked" to several old friends and my biological dad whom I haven't talked to in a year or so (long story). It's kinda fun and it will help me keep track of folks a bit better.

If you want to add me as your friend, I'd love to keep track of your guys too. It's a nice way of getting to know ya'll better too. :) I can't figure out how to link to a place where you directly add me (I'm new at this!) but my full name is Dawn Anderson. I'm the one that, well, looks like me. And you all know I'm in Alaska so you could search by that too. If there is a better way to direct you there, let me know. Like I said I'm new.

Come on . . . wanna be my friend? I feel like I'm in High School too!

Burda 10-2008 #103 Pleated Skirt

This is the fabric my husband bought me when he was in Houston. I chose the easiest-to-work-with fabric first. I am using the BWOF 10-2008 #103 pattern again because I like it so much. I lopped off about four inches at the hem again. This time I also added an orange piping strip that separated the pattern pieces. I didn't want it to look sorta mismatched so I did this so there would be an obvious line. Here is the first skirt I made with this pattern.

The back.

Pleat and piping detail on the front.

The front

Here it is with matching tights. I didn't want to be too matchy-matchy so I picked the green top. I rather like it that way. And no, I haven't really been up for long.

Another back shot.

I still have a few Christmas presents to crank through so I'm going to try to do that today!

Christmas Gifts

My co-worker makes jewelry. She gave me this set of earrings for Christmas. I am not much of a jewelry-wearing, as you may have noticed, but I love these. I love how simple and dramatic they appear. I'm not sure if they are vintage beads but they sure have that vibe. And, they're orange. How can you not love that?

Here is an unattractive picture of me wearing them so you can see the size. She's the best.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

How Did I Get Him?

My husband, that is . . .

He goes to Houston on business and look what he brings home for me. He even kept with my purple colors scheme for this winter.

He's not sure of the fabric content/weave on this but I would guess it's a poly/cotton gauze. It is crinkled and you can stretch it but it snaps back into those crinkles. I'm not sure what to make with it. He always tries to challenge me, you see. So, of course, he gets me something I have never used before.

This one is fun. It's a polyester/Lycra moleskin (guessing). This will make a great a-line skirt or a skirt with a little flounce. I want a simple pattern so the argyle isn't chopped up.

This is a silk dupionni. The color is so hard to photograph. It is more blue than what this photo shows. This is 60" wide by about 3 yards. I'll have to figure out some fun dress to make with it.

This is a rich red silk dupionni. It is darker than this picture. The only problem is there is not much yardage. It's a 45" wide fabric and there is just over a yard. What can I make with it?

This is Italian cotton shirting. It has a subtle twill pattern to it. I'm going to make a great blouse with it. Maybe one of the new BWOF blouses that have come out in the past couple of months?

He rocks. Oh, and he told me not to blog about because he didn't want the other husbands of the sewing world to, "get sh$% because he likes to make his wife happy." See? He's even trying to be nice to your spouses.

Kwik Sew 3658 Top or Dress

This pattern is going to be a gift so I wanted to try it out first. I'm glad I did. It's short!! This is unhemmed and you can see the cuffs barely go to my wrists and the bottom hem is about where it should be. I'm not sure what I'll do. Maybe I'll try a knit binding on the finished edges? I did a zigzag but this sweater knits likes to fray. If I make this again, I'll be adding inches to the bottom and arms.

Here's a bad picture of the back. I love this type of collar. I didn't realize it until I got home but this Jalie pattern is a dead ringer. I've made the Jalie pattern about eight times.

Side neck shot.

It's okay but I may stick with the Jalie pattern instead.

Lookie What I Scored

Look what I scored today at the second hand store. I only have one other book. It's good, The Complete Book of Sewing Shortcuts by Claire Shaeffer, but I don't have any basic reference books. This was perfect for me.

It goes over everything from what different design elements do for your form to . . .

. . . what colors and textures do for your shape . . .

. . . to how different fabrics are woven or knitted together to . . .

. . . tailoring techniques in jackets (could have used this in the Great Coat Sew Along) . . .

. . . how the heck do you padstitch anyway?? . . .

. . .plus some groovy home decor tips and patterns.

The best part for me? It's the original book from 1976 and it's mint.

Questions and Answers

Another installment of answers to your questions. I know some of you asked a long time ago.

Kat has left a new comment on your post "Burda 11-2008-126 Cozy Pants": Dawn, great pants! BTW, where did you get the small grommets and tie?
Hi Kat, I bought an industrial snap press from TheSnapStore.com and have an assortment of grommets, snaps, and die sets. These are way superior to the grommets that I was using. I had some hand-me-down grommets that were very small. They did not include a second piece and had a little hand tool to apply them. Those ones came out all the time. I made the tie by sewing RST and turning the tube.

Jacqui has left a new comment on your post "Kid Sewing -- Jalie and KwikSew": Love the green! Looks more like pea baby food. =) I noticed some tags on them. Do you put size tags on them?
I have a business and I put care tags on all my items. I also include care tags in my person kids clothing because I want them to be able to dress themselves and it's easier on me when they can tell front and back.

Amanda S. has left a new comment on your post "Burda 11-2008-126 Cozy Pants": This is on my to-do list as well. Yours are really cute! So, what is up with screws in tennis shoes for running on snow? Do they give better traction or something?
Yes, they are for traction. It is snowy for a good seven or eight months here so it's good to have traction.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Orange is my Favorite Color . . .": This may be a silly question, but did you do the pebble edging on the trim and then attach it to the bodice/neck edge? Thanks. :)Eme
Hi Eme! Yes, first you sew the shoulders of the shirt together. Then, add the edging of your choice or just fold it all under and edgestitch. Once your edges are finished you can put everything together.

Vicki has left a new comment on your post "Burda 11-2008-124 Sweatshirt": Have you ever considered a square shoulder adjustment? The opposite of a sloping shoulder. You have a lovely square shoulder line but the patterns are more sloping. If you adjust for that then the neck would sit lower on your neck/shoulder point and the pulls across the back will probably disappear. I know Debbie Cook adjusts for that and she may have a tutorial. Me, I have to do a sloping shoulder - just 1cm, but it makes all the difference. I am catching up on your posts here and have to agree that I am amazed at how much you get done! Your skirt is lovely and those jeans are perfect :) This sweat top is cute too and definitely on my "one day maybe" list.
No Vicki, I haven't looked at that adjustment. I do have some shoulder/arm fitting issues which is why I stick with a lot of knits for the top half of my body. I need to figure out how to adjust for my upper body because I just received some wonderful Italian shirting fabric from my husband. I'll take to look and see how Debbie Cook does it. Thank you for the fitting advice.

Sewfast has left a new comment on your post "Burda 11-2008-124 Sweatshirt": I like the style too and also not a big fan of facings with knits. Could the back be bound with some fold over elastic or a bias strip? Also, I was wondering about the center back seam on the yoke piece...could that piece be cut on the fold to eliminate that seam and maybe tweak it a bit to tighten up that neck area? I'm always looking at pattern directions to find a "better way" (at least in my humble opinion...LOL) Mary
Yes, the back could be finished off with FOE and you could do a centerback seam for the back seam arm sections. This would take a lot of fabric so I think that is why they recommend to have that CB seam.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

2008 in Graphs

I love graphing so when Lindsey T showed her progress in graphs I just had to copy borrow her idea and do it too. I found some interesting results especially after I filtered out my earlier attempts at sewing. I started garment sewing shortly after I signed up for PatternReview on 4/8/07. So, it's been 20 months since I started garment sewing. In that time, I think I've come far with my skills. I have sewn 77 garments thus far this year and feel like most of them are wearable and look mostly RTW. I have also figured out which pattern companies work with my body type. Here is a graph showing all the patterns I used for 2008. There are 12 different companies with BWOF, Jalie, and KwikSew being my favorites.

If I just graph the time since I tried BWOF , you see much different results. Once I tried BWOF, I didn't buy or try any more of the Big 4. The Vogue pattern was one that I sewed earlier but then finished much later because I hated it. The Green Pepper patterns are the ones I use for my kids outerwear. When you factor those in, I use basically five companies.

This shows all the different types of garments. Surprisingly, I made as many dresses as I did coats and casual tops. I did quite a bit if kid sewing which surprised me. I always feel guiltly because I'm not sewing for my kids. It's very interesting to view things this way.

I'll have another entry for my goals and reflections on specific garments later on. Dinner calls.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kid Sewing -- Jalie and KwikSew

My kids have grown a lot this winter and it's time for the annual (monthly?) hand-me-down-fest. My son used to have a slew of blue "cozy clothes" but now he'll pass those down to his sisters and he'll get a pile of green "cozy clothes" for Christmas. I know it looks like a pile of green vomit but it is two long-sleeve tops and four pairs of pants. Two of them are cuffed for going under snowpants and into boots and two of them are just straight legged.

Another Jalie top for the second girl. I used a gray knit with lavender stretch velvet for the crosses.

Two pairs of pants for the girls. I am missing elastic so all the pants are still unfinished. A lot of things still need the coverstitching for the hems too. Everything here with the exception of the Jalie top are that same KS 3234 Kid's Pajamas pattern.