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Showing posts from March, 2009

NY Trip: The Loot

Here are some pictures of some of the stuff I bought. They are in no particular order. I washed everything before I thought to photograph it. So, try to look past the wrinkles.


I picked up all of the hardware and the synthetic leather I will need to make this bag.



I might be a sewing tool junkie. I restrained myself and bought only these. I'm really excited about the SimFlex for buttonhole spacing.

Some of the buttons and trim I bought. Clockwise from the top: pink sequins possibly for neckline trim on a tunic, buttons for a wool coat, dragonfly buttons for daughter's Wallaby sweater, elastic trim for daughter's T-shirt, black fold-over elastic (never tried this before), brown buttons - bought just because I liked them.


The Preacher gets the most exciting things from the trip - collar stays and white cotton jersey for T-shirts.


I wanted a green spring coat. I ended up with two pieces in exactly the same color because after purchasing the first I thought it wasn't …

Veni, Vedi, Vici: The Garment District of NYC

Okay, well maybe I didn’t conquer but I certainly came and saw. If I had conquered, there would be no reason to return, now would there?

I traveled to NY with my mom last week. We were there for about three days. The first 1.5 were spent seeing the city with the usual tourist activities (Lady Liberty, WTC, show on Broadway, double-decker bus tour, etc). The second 1.5 were spent in the garment district shopping for fabric, trim, buttons, notions, etc. I thought that was a pretty good balance!

We spent most of our time on 37th, 38th, and 39th Streets between 7th and 8th Avenue. We shopped up one side of the street, down the other side and then brought our purchases back to the hotel (fabric is heavy). This took us an entire day. The number of stores and selection of fabric is unbelievable. Until this trip I had sewn up more yards than I had added to the stash for 2009. I think I’ll “forget” about tracking that for the rest of the year. I just added 48.5 yards to the stash. T…

Why Sewing is Better...

Last week I mentioned that I didn’t have any knitting project at all in the works. Yesterday I dug my yarn stash out of a very dusty and dirty corner of the storage room (so excited about getting settled at home again soon) along with some pattern books and ideas. I spent too much time today trying to match yarn to pattern and found this to be a pretty frustrating pursuit.

Compared my level of sewing experience, I am quite a newbie knitter. But it seems to me that unless you choose the pattern first and then buy the yarn specified in the amount specified it is really complicated to find something more involved than a scarf to knit. The issue of guage is the biggest hurdle. I have a lot of yarn (thanks to my MIL!) and a lot of patterns, but when I find a yarn that matches the gauge in the pattern I find that I don’t have enough of the yarn, or it is the wrong color (“boy colors” vs. “girl colors” are a big deal for my little kids) or the pattern requires circular needles and I only…

Necessary Sewing

My most recent work has been a long way from exciting. I really don’t like home decorating sewing very much. I find it is usually a lot of long, straight and really boring seams put in a lot of fabric with a lot of pressing. Handling all that fabric gets cumbersome. This type of sewing feels like a chore to me. The fact that I don’t think I have much of a gift for decorating probably adds to my lack of enthusiasm. However, sometimes it is necessary. And now is one of those times.

I made a valence for the girls’ bedroom out of this fabric:

And a curtain for a bathroom out of this (cream-y colored cotton gause):

Pictures of them up and in place would probably be more exciting, but they won’t go up until we move back in.

So, it wasn’t so bad once I did it, but I’ve had this fabric since November and have just been putting it off since then. I do have a couple more curtains to do, but I don’t have that fabric with me.

I also did some sewing for the girls’ group at our church. They need these …

Sling Bag

I’m going on a trip to NYC with my mom in approximately 2 weeks. Well, let's make that exactly 16 days. I am so, So, SO excited about this trip. Of course the thing I am most excited about is fabric shopping in the garment district. We’ll see some other things, too but the fabric shopping part is what I have spent the most time thinking about and preparing for. We’ll be getting around mostly by foot while we’re there and I needed a good bag to tote the essentials around.

I did have a few criteria for this bag. It needed to be…
…something I could make quickly and easily (I do still have 16 days, but those 16 days include a move back into our newly renovated – and beautiful – home. These are busy days).
…a messenger-style bag that crossed from one shoulder to the opposite hip (I want it to be secure and have hands entirely free to touch all that fabric. No straps sliding down off my shoulder).
…big enough to fit a binder in (the binder will hold all of the garment district related info …

Entrelac Scarf

This scarf has been on the needles for way too long. I started it before Christmas and just finished it last week. By far most of it was completed during Christmas travels, but then I ran out of yarn. I purchased it from my LYS and they did have more, but after I bought two more balls I think I lost a lot of momentum. I’ve been spending more time sewing and just didn’t have much desire to knit.

This is the second time I’ve knit this scarf (Danica from Knitty.com). The first time was for the Preacher, done in grey. Of course, I cannot find a picture of it on my computer at all now. Fitting...that is pretty much how this day is going. Anyway...

The technique that results in the basketweave look is called “entrelac.” I really like this technique. I made a felted bag like this a couple of years ago. It looks much more complicated than it is. If you can knit, purl, increase, decrease and pick up stitches you can do this. Trying to explain how it works is more than I can really m…

An Apron and Apple Pie

When it comes to describing myself as a cook, I’m not really sure what to say. I’m not outstanding or adventurous or creative or passionate. Nor am I inept or awful at it. What I do know is that I am a messy cook. It’s unusual for me not to spill or splatter something on myself. So, I wear an apron. And I thought it was time for a new apron.

I like the colors in this fabric very much, but the pattern is just too much to be worn in a garment and be taken seriously (IMO). I wasn’t interested in a quilt or a bag, so it seemed a good candidate for an apron. I didn’t have a pattern for an apron and didn’t think I really needed one. A very basic apron was all I was looking for (not even a pocket) so I just measured on myself where I wanted the top to be and the waist and the hem. I did the same with widths at the top and waist. These measurements were transferred to pattern paper, I added hem allowances and made the appropriate size rectangles for the neck loop and waist ties.

Construction wa…

Jalie 2788 - Twist top

I love the fit of this top. I’ve made it before with short, puff sleeves for summer. So, other than the sleeves, I had this all traced off and ready to go. From absolute start (pulling the fabric out of a box) to finish, this took less than four hours.

I did change the back a bit. The pattern piece for the back is scooped out at the neck and has two ties. I wasn’t so sure about that, so I just raised the back neckline to a height I thought looked reasonable.

The fabric is really stretchy and rather slippery. I was pretty frustrated with it at a couple of points in the process. The neckline was troublesome. But, the 4-way stretch makes it comfortable to wear. However, it won’t be warm. I think I’ll probably wear this with a sweater over it. Covering up a few of the dots might not be so bad.

The twist on the front of the top looks more complicated than it is. The picture above is what it looks like before assembly. The short part on the upper right is the shoulder seam, the n…