Quilting Progress

It’s been a while since I chatted about the Single Girl Quilt — which I think I’m going to name ‘Put a Ring on It’. When I last left you, I was piecing together the circle quadrants. I ran short of fabric for the last quadrant, but Cynthia at Fabricworm has sent me a fresh shipment!!¬† ** All print fabric from Fabricworm.com. I rather like quilting. No fitting and very therapeutic.

Today, I worked on the inner and outer background pieces.

The inside border piece is solid and shaped like a pie. The outside piece is sort of like a fingernail. When sewn to each quadrant, they form a square. Four of these squares are sewn together to form the full circle.

To cut the border pieces, I traced the template with pencil.

Using my rotary cutter, I cut the straight edges.

If you sew clothes, sewing the curved pieces will not be an issue. There is some easing involved but easy enough when pinned. I found that the border should be on top when sewing the inside so that you ease the circle and vice versa for the outside border.

Now, I just have like… 30 more to goūüôā

For those worried about my poor IKEA drawers — fear not. I heard your warning and moved them into this plastic container. This also holds four years worth plus a slew of Knip Modes.

A step in the right direction

I got up this morning all set to start a Vogue jacket. But, I couldn’t find the pattern. I went into my sewing room to look and I didn’t even know where to begin because it was such a sty. So, I took matters in to my own hands and decided it was time to assemble the¬†Aneboda from IKEA (idea originally Kristy‘s)

And now, the patterns I can put my hands on, are all in one place. I even found the missing jacket pattern.

And, it’s holding about four years worth of BWOFs too.

No, this didn’t make a huge difference in my sewing room. But, it makes me feel at least like I have a little more control.

I did manage to set it up in my prime photo location. But, I’m too tired to even think about moving it right now.

The Pink Kimono

Can you believe I was STILL waiting for my June 2009 BWOF when Trena sent me a photo of her muslin of 6-2009-110??  Seriously. Sometimes I think the women at the post office are thumbing through that and my US Weekly before they deliver it to my house.

For this project, I used a light pink suiting from the Carol Collection. It’s darker than it appears in the photo, but is overexposed in today’s SUNSHINE. YES!! My friends, there is no rain today and¬†we finally have SUNSHINE in Baltimore!¬† But, I digress. To break up all the pink, I made the bands in navy blue. This way, it would coordinate with the navy plaid silk tie fabric I was making the #151 obi from.

The dress is unlined so I serged the inside seams. Because the fabric is see through — and opaque with two layers, I left out the pockets. Also, on me, the pockets didn’t seem to hit at the right spot. I had no interest in lining this dress. None.

I should also mention that I struggled with the facing. It was several inches too small. So, I cut it out a second time and added several inches.

There are four snaps at the top. These came to me courtesy of Ann of Gorgeous Fabrics. I made a plea on PatternReview on where to find HUGE snaps and she answered!¬† I also needed two more snaps lower on the dress or you could see my vajajay when I walked and sat. For those, I used used light plastic pink ones from NYC. The plastic ones are about a quarter each, hard to open and close and feel like they might break. Ann’s are strong yet lightweight and retail for $3 a pop.

I did start to cover the snaps, but realized it was a big hassle and it didn’t bother me for them to not be covered with lining fabric.

In the photo below, you can see what I mean when I say the obi is too big. The dark solid navy are the side pieces, and clearly start in the middle of my back. I’m not motivated enough to alter it — yet. But, when I make another, I could easily take three to six inches out of the obi. I, um, also forgot to leave a slit for the belt to slip through in the back.

The other thing to be aware of is that the armsyce is super low to accommodate the kimono style. It will also cause some natural blousing of¬†the¬†upper bodice (see above. that’s why my skirt looks crooked) over the belt.¬†¬†Because of this the, belt rides low, and this hikes the skirt up higher than you might think. Even though I added the correct length to the dress, it’s still a wee bit shorter than I’m comfortable with for work.¬† So, you want to make it longer initially for safety.

When I tried it on yesterday, it felt a little like a robe. But, I think that’s the nature of a kimono-style garment in the west. I QUITE like it and feel very chic and extremely retro. It’s not as baggy as the #107 dress. I’m working on a new Japan related project in the office, so I should fit right in during the next few weeks!

Dude, seriously

I have to work today but, I wanted to give you a heads up on the #151 leather style Obi from the June 2009 BWOF.

Pretty, non?

Yet, criminally long and big. Those ties are hitting the floor. After finishing mine last night and calling Trena she realized she forgot to warn me. If you’re planning on making this obi, cut the ties in half and be prepared to take six inches or so out of the belt itself. At least, that’s what I’d do. I’ll have to fix it tomorrow.

One of the events I’m going today is Baltimore Pride. I was tempted to do a Skittles manicure, but decided on a fun summer color (a gift from Deepika) and a decal. Hee Hee. It’s the conformist in me that loves the skull and the sewist that digs the scissors.

Pattern Review: BWOF 6/2009 #107

I actually almost forgot to review this dress, 6-2009-107! I’ve been waiting for a nice day out so I could get some decent sun photos (navy is hard to photograph). But, it’s raining today and I wore the dress to the office¬† so sub-par basement photos it is!

Ok. First, this dress is no good without the belt. I won’t like to you. Gah. It looks like I’m in some cult where I’m ashamed to have girl parts.

Jean likens it to a mu mu and she’s spot on. BTW, if you’re not reading her blog, you should be. She does impeccable work and is a knit designer too. Kind of makes me wish I lived next door so I could be all clever and trick her into becoming my friend. But, I digress.

I didn’t make the obi — yet. But, instead tried it with my red Anthropologie knock off belt. The fabric is linen from Denver Fabrics. I washed and dried it a few times to soften. I like the soft rumpled look. But, still pressed and starched it like I was in the military.

Here it is with my pink J.Crew belt knock off — I need to do photos of that sometime.¬† I know the blousy look trends young, but I think it’s very cute and super comfortable.¬† As you can see, this is my summer of showing my knees. I read that minis are the rage this summer, and this is as close as I can get for the office. Also, I don’t love myself in black, so navy is my dark neutral of choice.

June 107

You’ll notice mine is not off the shoulder like the original. I didn’t want the off-shoulder look since this is a work dress and I have narrow shoulders. So, I just took much bigger tucks than called for–¬† which shaved about three or four inches off the neckband. That brought everything up higher, and still made a very cool dip in the back neckline.

So, this dress totally works for me and I think it should only be made in a solid. I feel it could just be too much in a print. For my body type, an X, it’s good because it highlights the smallest part of me, but glosses over my bottom half. It’s super comfortable, can be made I think in under two hours and has elicited loads – o-compliments from the fashionistas I’m trying to keep up with at work. Again I say: I HEART the June 2009 BWOF!

Adding to the Stash

Hello Kittens,

Let’s just cut to the chase and talk about the New York Fabric, eh?

I think I’m in the minority, but I honestly love Spandex House. I love them for their vast assortment of all things Lycra.

I’m all about making some bras. My favorites are $42 and I’m ready to save some money on those and I’d like some pretty bras! So, I got this pretty plaid, power netting, under wires, elastic, casing and black lace to make some. These were all from Spandex House and the findings are from Greenberg and Hammer. The fabric can still be found on to SH website (search ‘plaid’). I ordered several Kwik Sew patterns last night from PatternReview.com so I’ll be good to go soon.

For garment sewing, I totally went the print routeūüôā The first and last are from Metro Textile. The chain link is a knit (def needs lining). The brown polka dot is from Spandex House and will be a cowl top (I hope. I only bought one yard when I thought they would be pan.ties). The polka dot swiss dot is for a blouse, and the pink and cream seersucker ahould be capris and a jacket for work.

Finally, I got my zippers and rivets for my denim/sherpa biker jacket.

What didn’t I get? I wanted something in yellow and I forgot to look for matte jersey for another Hot Patterns Cosmopolitan Dress. I thought I would this morning before I caught the bus, but my suitcase was heavy, it was starting to rain and it would have been a six block walk back to Penn Station.

Despite the crazy prices, I feel like a trip to NYC requires a stop for cupcakes.

I bought six. Ate three and gave two to my friend who picked me up from the bus stop. Red Velvet is hands down my favorite. Thank you NYC for starting the cupcake craze!

As for the wedding, I wore a different dress than planned. My cotton dress was deemed not dressy enough by the assorted Aunts, Trena and my mother (via email). I must have known because I brought three dresses with me to Brooklyn!

Which, I mentioned in our last Podcast is VERY similar to a dress in the June 2009 BWOF. This is only the second time I’ve gotten to wear this dress. I bought it from a clearance store about three years ago.

Finally, I also got to see my Granny this weekend before she heads back to Carriacou. Isn’t she styling at 86?

Mid Weekend Skirt Making

It’s the close of Day Two in NYC. Trena’s just heading back to DC and I’m still in Brooklyn until Monday morning.

The Garment District was OURS on Friday. We hit Parons, Metro Textile, Pacific Trim, Greenberg & Hammer and Spandex House to name a few. Seriously, Trena and I shopped from morning to night. But, I stayed on budget! 

The NYC Garment District is mecca for the sewist. One of the great silk jerseys we picked up was turned into a skirt for my favorite Aunt Judy who put Trena and I up for the weekend.

We drafted a pattern from the Simplicity website and used my Granny’s ‘Stitch-O-Matic’ to pull it together. Granny was a seamstress back in Carriacou and made most of her 10 kids clothing growing up. But, she didn’t sew much after coming to the States in the mid 70s.¬† She handed me a can of oil and it ran just as smooth as the day it was made.

Luckily, Aunt Judy had a few different tops to go with it. Our skirt was a slight aline with a foldover waistband. We reinforced the waistband with elastic in the seam line.  The fabric is an absolute joy to sew with. Silky and soft with an amazing sheen.

Clearly, we are kind of proud of ourselvesūüôā

Tomorrow is the wedding and I’m back home on Monday with fabric photos and new project ideas.

And away we go!

Hello Kittens! Thanks for the lovely comments on my new skirt. I’m so thrilled you all enjoyed our little challenge.

When last I left you, I was working on two dresses from the June 2009 BWOF. I’m done with the first sans the belt and will take photos outside soon. But I’ve only cut out and done interfacing on the kimono dress. Just thought I would show you what I’m doing to make it not be too PINK. For the sleeve bands, I’m using navy to break up the color (maybe with pink topstitching). For the obi. I’m using bias cut tie silk fabric for the main section and pink for the long straps. Hopefully, it won’t all look like an Easter egg exploded.

What I don’t love, is that you can see the facing in the unlined dress. Not a big fan.¬† But, don’t hate it enough to add liningūüôā

Tonight I’m heading to the big city of NYC for a family wedding. Trena is my date and we’ll be doing some light shopping on Friday. For the Sunday wedding, I may scandalize the West Indian congregants of the SDA church my parents got married in by showing my shoulders and wearing a spaghetti strap dress. I figure if I can’t wear what I want at 33, when can I? Talk to you again on Monday!

Just Skirting Around

“Every now and then your wardrobe needs an injection of something, new, trendy and fun.¬† That was the thought when we spied the pencil skirts shown in the large graphic prints and florals in the June 2009 issue of Lucky Magazine.¬† These skirts provide a great way to update a classic…so with that photo spread and a little conversation…we were¬†ready to create our own versions.¬† Following are our individual interpretations of an updated¬†yet classic¬†pencil skirt.”

Inspiration:  A feature in Lucky Magazine highlighting the pencil skirt done in large scale prints/graphic prints.

The Challenge:  Create a pencil skirt that works on our own body and use a bold print.

Participants are Carolyn, Diary of a Sewing Fanatic; ¬†Me, LindsayT,¬†Lindsay T Sews (Again); and Marji Fiber Arts Afloat.¬†(Marji proposed the challenge after reading Carolyn’s post of May 9 and asked a few fellow sewists she emails and talks to regularly if they wanted to participate.)

For me, the challenge is in just making a skirt. I never really made them and seemed to skip to far more complicated garments years ago. So I am generally uncomfortable with my skirt fitting and construction issues (discussed below) for skirts.

The skirt:


Pattern used: ‘vintage’ BWOF from June 2002, #104 (6-2002-104)

Fabric / Fabric source:
White waffle weave pique from the Carol Collection with graphic red and black flowers. It’s bold and¬†graphic, but not necessarily a LARGE scale print.

Construction details:

I have loved this skirt since it first ran seven years ago. I’ve said before that I don’t make a lot of skirts. Mainly because I don’t have tops to go with them and the vicious cycle of no separates continues. I also don’t make a lot of skirts ‘cuz I think a lot of what I see is b-o-r-i-n-g. So, when I make a skirt, I do it for the details.

On this one, it was the side button placket. First, it provides visual interest and second, it prevents me from having to work with a slit which I still have not mastered.¬† It also appears that I need to learn the ‘my skirt hikes up in the back’ adjustment due to my swayback and my Jamaican caboose. A syndrome I see all over the streets of Baltimore.

I will be looking for some different buttons though. These blend in a bit too much. If I were making this same skirt again, I would have worked the buttonholes in a different  color than  white.

Because the skirt is white, I chose to underline with white cotton batiste and line it with a tan Bemberg Rayon — rendering it Princess Diana proof. And, I’ve finally got a handle on the blind hem function of my Kenmore!

Here’s the back (All my RTW tops look like this H&M one with pooling at my waist). My version¬†has a CB seam so I could take a horizontal tuck for my swayback.

Skirts also sit higher on my front than on my back (another swayback issue) — which causes some not pretty pulling across the front.

** In the photo above, there are two less buttons. I took photos Monday morning,  wore the skirt to work and decided to add two more buttons after I got home. I wore the skirt to work on Monday and have compliments from the first three women I saw. A success I say! But, I really need to master some basic skills for skirts. I never like making them because of lining and fit. I want to be like my girl Trena with her 50+.

** Pay no attention to the junkyard grass in the background. I was going to mow this weekend, but cut my hand slicing that  baguette I just *had* to have on Sunday and I was too cheap to submit to the THIRTY DOLLAR extortion the kid across the street  wanted to mow my 20 sq ft of grass. That, and I hate yardwork.