Saturday, May 30, 2009

Houston Fabric Part II

So this is part two of the Houston Haul from my husband.

First, he knows I've been obsessed with jeans lately. This is two yards of 12oz. black stretch denim. It has already been washed.

This is an interesting cut of fabric. It's like a crinkly woven but I think it's a knit. It has four-way stretch but not as much in one direction. It's not as RED! PINK! ORANGE! as it shows in the photo. I mean, it's bright- don't get me wrong, but this photo is hard to look at.

This is also interesting. I thought it was a sweater knit but it's not a knit at all. The top fibers are chenille but the back is more like a woven backing. I have no idea what it will be made into.

Here's the back. I'm pretty sure that I've seen this kind of backing on upholstery fabrics.

This is a rayon/lycra knit. The stripes are quite wide. I'm thinking this will make a cozy turtleneck for the winter.

Another knit. It's an organic cotton.

This he found in the remnant bin. The color is darker and deeper than this photo shows.

I did find the faded line. It's one line where it was folded and it's only on one side. I think I can work around that, thank you very much.

A bottomweight pique. It's cotton/lycra. I'm thinking a skirt from the June 2009 BWOF. You know the one, the one that's a faux wrap shirt.

A Ralph Lauren twill. I want to make this into a set of capri pants. It's nice and soft.

This is an odd one too. It's coated on one side like almost laminated. It's a coated poplin. As you can imagine, it has a lot of body and zero drape. Maybe a jackety-shirt? It's hard because it's lightweight poplin. Hmmmmm . . .

This is not from the Houston Haul but it's new. I got one of those, "Hey Dawn, I know you sew. I'm cleaning out my closets and I'll never use this, do you want it?" emails. Hell, yes I want it. This is a wool flannel as you can see. There are several yards of this.

A cotton (?) gauze. This would make a great summery tunic.

I've been looking for a piece of wool like this to make a new plaid pencil skirt. This is perfect and it was free! Even better! She must have had the same plans because there is just enough for a pencil skirt and the red Ambiance lining was there too.

That's it. That should keep me busy for a while. He won't have any time next time he goes to Houston. This will keep me busy. Oh, and to answer a few questions. I usually have him buy me two yards. That is more than enough for a top, pants, and most dresses. He buys this stuff at High Fashion Fabrics. We are a big fan of that store.

Friday, May 29, 2009

That Darn Kat -- Kids' Underwear

Mother-poop-talk coming up. If you don't have kids, are easily disgusted, or just don't give a crap (ha! get it??) you should skip this blog entry.

I downloaded this kids' underwear pattern from that*darn*kat on etsy quite a while ago. Now that I'm in the midst of potty training it seems I need a lot of underwear. My girls are not catching on quickly to the whole "pee in the potty" thing. So I'm have lots of accidents times two. The other day I had gone through eleven pairs of underwear before noon. Thankfully not one of them were of the solid variety. So, new underpants are in order. I made the size 4 and they fit well. There is no elastic so they are super easy. The pattern does say to make sure you use knit with lycra and recovery for the leg and waistbands. This is what keeps them staying on. All of the pieces are made from scrap knits.

The backs are my favorites. I don't know if the embroidery is going to itch but I figure they will only have them on for 56 seconds anyway so it really doesn't matter.

Both of these cute embroideries came from

There is only two main pieces. The front and back overlap to create the extra layer of fabric for the panty lining. See that label on the back? I've realized after making some kid clothing that they always need to have a tag in the back. If you want your kids to get dressed by themselves (I do! I do!) they need to be able to identify the back of the shirt, underwear, pants, etc.

I used variegated thread on my serger. The girls will think it's cute.

And if you haven't popped over to the Sew Along section of PatternReview today, you should go and see the thread I started. I read all 74 pages of the Jeans Sew Along and condensed it into a really loooong thread. Cidell had written to me last week and asked me to start a new thread with a condensed version of the information. It took a while because there is so much great stuff in that Jeans Sew Along thread. Hopefully this will make it a bit easier to find information.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Done, done, diggity done!

You'll probably have to click on the picture to see everything. Now that his mini-wardrobe gig is over, I think I'll whip out some June BWOF items. There are a few things in there that I really (really!) like. Oh, and I have to make some neoprene binocular covers.

I love this tank -- Ottobre 02-2009

So I had sworn off Ottobre back in October of 2008. Then Paulette shows up at our sewing class with one. Well, what's a girl to do? I just had to try it again right? And, boy am I glad I did. I love this tank pattern. Yes, it's super easy and I probably could have drafted it myself. No, there is nothing really special about it; except that I love it. It's a size 34 and yes, I'll probably be tacky and wear it like this with the bra. At least I got my pink bra and not the mom-Saturday-morning-husband's-gone bra.

Not too much to tell with this pattern. I did do something weird and use a lightweight sweater knit. It has a lot of stretch but it's cozy. I'll be making more of these to use for layering in the winter. I have a lot of odds and ends to wrap up for the mini-wardrobe contest. I need to write a formal review for the tank and the BWOF jacket. I have to actually enter the mini-wardrobe contest. Hee hee. I need to do the formal review for the mini-wardrobe. Hmmmm, what else. Oh, create the collage of all the outfit photos.
And my June BWOF showed up today. I feel bad about the May one. I always try for three patterns out of each issue. That surely didn't happen with May BWOF. But, now that the June issue is here, there are several things I want to make out of it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Burda 04-2009 #116 Cropped Jacket

Okay, finally a garment to post! It seems like I've been working on this forever. It hasn't been that long and I haven't really worked on it that much. I've just been so busy with school, family, and everything else. Here's the line drawing and a model photo.

I know these photos are not very good. The light wasn't the best this morning. I will get better photos with details of everything. I love looking at the "guts" of your outfits so I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that you'll like looking at my guts. I like it best buttoned up. The top pockets are faux pockets but the bottom two are functional.

I took about an inch out of each side piece above my butt. I still need to give this a good pressing. Some of the ripple in the hem will go away when I do that.

I don't think it's nearly as cute with the buttons undone. I really like the color and the weight of the fabric. This will be a good chilly-morning jacket. I'll do a proper PR review tomorrow when I get better pictures.

Next up: A simple knit tank from Ottobre. I will finish this mini-wardrobe.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Houston Fabric Part I

My husband once again hit a home run with his Houston fabric purchases. Notice that the title of this blogpost says Part I. Oh yes, there is more than just this.

First up this beautiful jacquard silk charmeuse. It's blue, gold, and white with burgundy centers. This was a remnant so there is only 1 1/8" of a yard.

I've loved this BWOF 12/08 dress since I saw it. I may try to use this remnant for the bodice and a deep burgundy wool crepe for the skirt. What do you think? Would this be too much for a bodice? I think it would be grand but I'm really smitten with this dress so that might be clouding my judgement.

This is a polyester charmeuse and I love it. This one might be the lining for my coat. There are so many options now. I am leaning toward this one.

This would be a great pop of color on the inside.

Another silk charmeuse. Yummy. I have 1 1/4" yards of this one. He bought the end of the bolt for me.

This is not a husband fabric. This is the one I bought from Thai Silks. I talked about it here on this post.

I promise (really!!) that I'll be posting some finished garments in the next couple of days. I feel like it's been for-ever since I posted something substantial. I promise., maybe tomorrow?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Slow but Steady

I always like to do samples before I sew things. One of my favorites is topstitching samples. For the BWOF 04/2009 #116 jacket, I'm using a baby wale corduroy. I did pressing samples to see how it would behave. You have to worry about the nap when you use corduroy. If you crush it with the iron, it's really obvious and looks very over-pressed. It's hard to see in this photo but the left most pressing is the best. I hovered the iron over the seam and finger pressed the seam. It left the least amount nap flattening. Ironing on the back with a pressing cloth was the second best. Ironing on the front was the absolute worst though it doesn't look that way in the photo. You'll just have to trust me. :)

My mini-wardrobe plan will have to modified to finish this in time. I think I'll make a knit top to to go under my jacket.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Uck . . .

So, lots of drama here. I've been in Fairbanks at a family funeral. My sister's husband passed away last Sunday so I've been up there lending support and helping her organize. She's only 28 and has never been on her own. She needs some help with finances and sorting her life out. He didn't leave her in the best state financially so it's bit of a mess. Sigh . . . .


Then I get home and the dishwasher is plugged and full of water. I took that sucker apart and it does work again. However, who knew that water would shoot so far out of this little white thing? I'm actually pretty good with the mechanical things around the house. I get to fix most of the stuff just because my husband is gone half the time. I don't mind because I learn a lot of things. However, most of it is trial and error. Error = lots of water squirting up to the ceiling.

School ends in three days so there is plenty of things I need to accomplish there. Grades, room cleaning, loose ends, etc.

I am going to try and finish the two jackets by the end of May but we'll see if I get it done. I've got a lot of stress goin' on here and I'm still trying to help my sister out by doing her resume, researching Alaskan state law, and putting her finances in order.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Patrones Oct 2005 #28 Muslin

Here's muslin take one of the Patrones pattern. I traced this off for a size 38. I have no experience with Patrones so I thought I'd make a muslin (or two or three). It's three main pieces for the body: front, side front, and back. The back has a center back seam. I didn't do any of my usual adjustments because I wanted to see how this would fit straight outta the box.

This is pinned at CF. I added another pin to keep the flap from sticking up. I know I'll need to take in the waist (or wasit, damn spelling) and let out the hip. The bust point seems to be hitting at about the right spot which is surprising. I usually have to do a 1/2" tuck to shorten the shoulder to bust length on BWOF patterns. It's snug across the bust but I think that's more of a back issue.

Here you can see that it is tight across the shoulders. I think this is why it's pulling just the teensiest bit at the bust. I certainly need that swayback tuck. A lot. I also need to let the hips out a little bit too.

Here's that forward thrusting neck thing I was talking about on my other post. That blue side seam should be perpendicular to the floor right? How do I get it there? I know I need to add a bit of hip room to the front and side front. That will let it have more room. I also think that bunching fabric in the back is actually pushing it forward too. The swayback adjustment may also fix some of that.

I have quite a bit of room at the waist. Also the seam line of the shoulders is right on the pointy shoulder bone. That is were it is supposed to be right? I think that is what our instructor told us last time. I am going to bring this Patrones jacket in on Sunday and see if she'll also help with fitting this jacket.

I have to run up to Fairbanks for a few days for a family emergency. If I don't respond to email, that's why. I'll be back Saturday night but I probably won't be on email or the computer until Sunday or Monday. I'm really hoping to finish this mini-wardrobe but all this family stuff just suddenly cropped up. I guess we'll see what happens. Until then, happy sewing!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Couture Jacket Class -- 2

I want a silk charmeuse for the lining of my couture jacket. If I'm spending all this time on it, I want it to be lux on the inside too. These are all stretch silk charmeuse from Thai Silks. I want the inside to be much more wild than the outside gray. The outside of the jacket will be a grey wool that has multi-colored flecks in it. It's super pretty in person but kind of blah on the monitor.

I thought about this one. Love it. Love the colors. How fun would this be to put on in the morning?

Then I saw the poppies. I love poppies. Lurve them. They might be my favorite flower. I love this red/black combo.

But then I saw these. I settled on this colorway. I'm really into pink/purple for some reason right now. I'm certainly not a pink-y froo froo type of girl. How fun will this be as a lining???

My next class is this Sunday and I think we are going to work on fitting the muslin. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Meet Fat Max and Other Crap

First off, happy Mother's Day to you Moms! My kids and I went to Grandma's house, ate a lot of food, and hung out at the park. My husband is in Houston again (yay fabric!!!) and Grandpa is out Bar Hunting (bear hunting for you non-alaskans). Here are some requisite kid photos. Awwwwwww . . .


Sad daughter #2. Nice bruise, eh?

Happy daughter #1.

Happy daughter #2. They are 2.5 YO (someone asked me that in an earlier post).


Next up: Meet Fat Max. I use this chisel to slice open buttonholes. I bought it at Lowe's and it stays in my sewing room. This is not allowed in the garage or near my husband. He'll actually use it for something chisel-y. I bought the smallest width I could so it will work for very small buttonholes.

To use this, put a board on a hard floor, put your jeans on the board, carefully line up the chisel and whack it with the palm of your hand. This puppy is sharp enough that it slices through just about anything. For a long buttonhole, lift, shift, and repeat.

Speaking of jeans, I finished my third pair of Jalie jeans. These are the second item for my mini-SWAP.

And you guys are addicts like I am. Lots of you knew that Rocketboy was my inspiration. He's a jeans-making badass.

Pockets are the pink/purple silk duppioni from the dress. This picture shows the most accurate color of the denim.

And yes, they have a pink zipper. I couldn't resist.