Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Little Girl Purses

S asked me to make more little girl purses to sell in her shop.  The first three I made took awhile to sell, so I thought I'd add a little more to them to make them more interesting.  So, each bag has a zippered coin purse and crayon roll to go with it.

Little Girl Purses

Little Girl Purses

I used the crayon roll tutorial found here, but substituted an elastic loop and button for the closure rather than a ribbon tie.  It seemed to me that most little girls wouldn't be able to tie that ribbon and I'm all for kids doing things independently.  The elastic loop on the purple crayon roll is 1/8" elastic.  For the other two, I used a pony tail elastic (a tip I think I read in Threads).

Little Girl Purses

This fabric was given to me by S when she was clearing out her stash.  She was happy to see it used well.  :)  The lining is a coordinating print.

Little Girl Purses

Little Girl Purses

Little Girl Purses

The green is brighter in real life than it shows up here.  It's lining leftovers from this jacket.

Little Girl Purses

I finished these last week and just dropped them off today.  My iron hasn't been working, so I've been on a forced sewing break.  But, I have been knitting and am hoping to have something to show you soon.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Kwik Sew 2918 - Long Sleeved T-shirt

We now interrupt the streak of selfish sewing I had going to bring you this T-shirt for my younger daughter.

New shirt for J

I used Kwik Sew 2918, size T2 with added length in the sleeves.  The butterfly is an iron-on applique that I purchased.  I haven't used one of those recently, so I'm curious to see how it looks after cycling through the laundry.

New shirt for J

The hems are finished with the ruffling technique I described here

I picked up her pants at Old Navy for less than $2.00 on clearance and they have a pink zipper!  I thought it was just me that did that when I didn't want to go get the "right" color! 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Started the Jacket

I did get the jacket cut out the other night and started sewing it today.  It's going to be a jean-style corduroy jacket.  The fabric is a stretch corduroy that I bought last year for very little money at the end of winter.

The pattern I'm using is Vogue 2793, an out-of-print Oscar de la Renta.  It's a great pattern.  This is the third time I'm making it.  (To be honest, I don't really wear the other two that I've made because I don't have anything to wear with them, but I'm optimistic this one will work out well in my closet). 

The sleeve is particularly fantastic - I substituted this sleeve when making this jacket.  I'll try to take more pictures of the sleeve later.

Including the fashion fabric, the lining and the interfacing, there are 31 pieces to cut out.  Thirty one!  So far I've only done the corduroy.  All of the details on the jacket are great, but my goodness, this might take awhile.

The corduroy is really messy.  After an hour of sewing, my shirt is covered with  lint and fuzz.  Only the biggest pieces showed up in this picture, which is likely the wierdest one I've ever taken.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Patchwork Coasters

I said that I would be working on a jacket next (the top is already done).  I got out the pattern and fabric and noticed that the pattern has a ridiculous number of pattern pieces.  I wasn't feeling very inspired to start that and wanted to do something quick and small.  These coasters are the result.

This sort of thing is a possibility for the craft sale projects that I need to get started working on.  I'm really liking this particular combination of colors.

My son has two infected ears so we didn't really sleep at all last night and now today I have three extra kids here (and a bottle of Mt Dew).  I shouldn't expect to get any sewing time in tonight, but I might still try.  At least getting the jacket cut out would be nice.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Felted Slippers

My favorite felted slippers have been in dire need of replacement for some time now.  I finally got around to it.

This is the second time I've used this pattern.  I wish I could give proper credit for the pattern, but it is from a book I checked out of the library more than two years ago.  I copied the pattern so I could mark it up and then kept it after I was finished.  The copy doesn't have any book info on it.

Here they are pre-felted:

The green yarn is Paton's Classic Wool and the blue is Lamb's Pride Worsted.

I made a women's size large, which is probably bigger than I needed, but I like them to be felted as much as possible so they are nice and thick.

After two cycles in the washer, they turned out pretty good.  I think one is slightly bigger than the other.  The soles are still damp, so I haven't really tried them on.  They may need another cycle (or partial cycle).

My feet are looking forward to wearing them!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Jalie 2449 - Brown Sweater / Butterick 3344 - Green Top

I'm realizing that I need to wear more layers.  I'm often cold and end up putting on a hoodie or fleece jacket over my other clothes.  This isn't so bad except that the end result doesn't always look that great.  So, instead, I should plan for layers and start out the day dressing that way.  Here's my first attempt at this plan.

I picked up this brown sweater knit recently at Fabricland.  It was very inexpensive and the label said it was a wool/poly blend.  The stretch is pretty minimal and it has a soft hand, but is a little irritating next to my skin.

Time for a haircut!  It's looking very...uh...asymmetrical here.

I've used Jalie 2449 before both for me and my daughter, but never in a sweater knit.  I used a size bigger than I needed according to the measurment chart and cut 1/2" seam allowances.  I think I should have gone up an additional size because of the minimal stretch.  The neckband in the pattern doesn't go around the back of the neck and I didn't like that when I used it before, so I changed it for this version.  I just cut one continuous neckband rather than two shorter, separate ones.  Then I trimmed off the back piece at the neck so that the shoulder seams were the same length.  It turned out great - I was surprised as it seemed too easy. 

Since the sweater knit was a little scratchy against my skin, I needed a top to wear under it - preferrably with sleeves.  Some color would be good too, since all that flat brown was a little underwhelming.  I bought this green jersey from Fabricland just for this.  I did check the stash.  Really...I did.  There weren't any pieces that would work.  This wasn't so inexpensive, but it was really great to sew with and is nice to wear - a great cotton/lycra blend.

The pattern, Butterick 3344, is out-of-print.  I've used it a few times before and I think it's a great pattern.  In particular, I like the high armholes.  I did have to draw a new neckline since I wanted it to show under the wrap top.   The neckline is bound.  I considered making the front doubled to have a neckline with no band or binding, but I thought that might overdo the warmth factor since the sweater also has a double front.  I haven't worn it yet - I will on Thursday morning when I go to Bible study and it's always so cold in church that I want to keep my coat on.  brrrrrr....

Next up:  more layers!  A top and jacket.    

Sunday, January 10, 2010

J Stern Designs 0037 - Jeans

They're finished.  I just looked back to see when I started these.  November 17.  That's a long time ago (in sewing time).  I knew it would be a longer term project, but it felt a little to close to a epic project.  Not that the sewing took so long, but because they were just sitting on my sewing desk all through the other projects and Christmas sewing.  I'd see them and think about them, but not get to work on them.  Now they're done and I wish I could say that I love them, but I don't.

Let's start with the things I do like...

The Pattern

This is the J Stern Designs Misses' Jeans pattern.  It is intended to be used with regular (non-stretch) denim.  The jeans are fitted with a low rise and a boot-cut leg.  Optional back flap pockets are included.  Overall, I thought the fit was pretty good.  Of course, I did have to make some adjustments, but they weren't drastic changes.  I think this is a great draft for jeans and could look very RTW.
Fly Instructions

The instructions for the fly were different than any other pants I have made, but I haven't made jeans before, so maybe these are typical for jeans.  Anyway, I thought they were very good and it was easy to get a good looking fly.  Wonder Tape is listed as one of the notions you need on the envelope and I think it is essential for this fly method.

Front Fit

I am very happy with the fit in the front.  I did have to let out the outseams a bit at the hips and the inseams a bit from 2" below the crotch to the knee.

I think I may have stretched the waistband while sewing it.  It ripples a little (on the right in the picture) and it doesn't sit entirely flat where it buttons.

Back Pockets

I think the back pockets on jeans are a pretty big deal.  The pattern instructions say, "Back pockets make a big contribution to the personality of your jeans."  I agree.  Attaching the back pockets was the very last (sewing) thing I did so that I could carefully check placement and get them symmetical.  I found the pattern piece would have made really large pockets, so I adjusted it  (see below).

The design is kind of based on an EKG reading of a heartbeat.  (The reading on my jeans would likely indicate some sort of unfortunate cardiac event).  While I don't have any specific recollection, I think I may have seen this somewhere else (ETA:  I did see this somewhere else!  I knew this couldn't have been my original idea.  Check out Mary Nanna's jeans).  I think I like how they turned out.

I Made Jeans!
I've been wanting to try making jeans for awhile now.  It feels good to have tried and now know what it's all about.  The topstitching started out very frustrating.  Sometimes my machine worked well with the upholstery thread that I chose and sometimes it wouldn't work at all.  I spent a lot of time adjusting tension, rethreading, ripping out stitches, etc.  While topstitching the waistband, I decided to switch to using a triple-straight stitch with regular thread.  That worked much better.  The thread is the same color, but you can tell the difference between the two types of topstitching.  Not ideal, but by this point I knew these weren't going to be my new favorite jeans.  I found the rivets quite easy to use.  I pounded a hole in the jeans with a nail and hammer and then set the rivet with the setting tool.  Pretty easy.

And then what I don't like...

Fit in Back

I'm not showing you myself wearing the jeans from the rear to save myself some serious embarrassment.  The jeans are too tight in back.  I had deemed them entirely unwearable, but have since worn them a couple of times at home and I think they might be growing on me.  Literally.  I think they're stretching out.  I let them out as much as I could.

The Denim
I'm not so excited about this particular cut of denim.  It's too blue - I'd prefer a darker wash.  Also, I think it is too lightweight.  That doesn't help with the too-tightness in the back.  I bought the denim at least a couple of years ago thinking of trouser jeans, but never got to that.  The plan was for these to be a practice pair, so this is no big loss.

Since I will likely try another pair, here are the changes I made (for my own sake - to check back later):
  • Started with size 8.
  • Change s.a. to 0.25" on inseam from 2" below crotch to knee on back pieces only.
  • Taper to 0.75" s.a. at CB waist.
  • Scoop out crotch 0.25" at rear.
  • Trim 1/8" off each (narrow) end of yoke pieces.
  • Change s.a. to 3/8" on side seams from waist to upper thigh on front and back pcs.  Let out back leg at side seams 0.25".
  • Back Pocket:  Trim 3/8" from each (vertical) side.  Remove 3/4" from bottom.
I'll need to make some more fitting changes for the next pair.  It'll probably be awhile before I try it again.

Next up:  a sweater.  It's cold here!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Sewing Goals for 2010

I don't really make New Year's Resolutions, but I do like to set some goals.  I find it pretty easy to set sewing goals.  There are still so many things I would like to make, techniques I would like to learn, patterns to try, etc.  In an attempt to be reasonable, but also give myself some direction, here are my goals for 2010:

1.  Go fabric shopping in Toronto.

I live about 90 minutes from Toronto, but I have no idea what sort of fabric stores are there.  I'm sure there are some and I'd like to check them out.

2.  Knit the owl sweater.

I have never knit myself a sweater.  Vests, socks, slippers, scarfs, mittens, etc for myself and several sweaters for my kids, but none for me.  It has always seemed a little daunting to me.  But, I thought this was a great pattern and in a chunky-weight yarn, so I think I can do it.

3.  Make a modern quilt for our living room wall.

I love all the modern quilts people are making and we have a big bare wall that needs something on it.  Finding the right pattern and fabric will be a challenge for me.

4.  Give my blog a facelift.

I haven't really changed or improved anything since I started blogging.  It's time.

5.  Work on projects for art/craft show a little at a time all year long.

I was invited to be part of an art show in November.  I know that leaving it until the last minute will take all of the fun right out of it, so I'm hoping to build my stock gradually over the months.  First off, I need to decide what to make/sell.

6.  Purchase an Ottobre magazine and try at least two patterns.

I did a lot of modifing patterns for my kids' clothes in the last year.  Simplifying this process sounds good to me.  While I would need to trace off Ottobre patterns, it would be really nice to have someone else do the designing/planning part and I think it would save me some time and energy.

7.  Make a great white shirt.

This is a 2009 rollover.

8.  Make a wool coat.

I purchased wool coating about three years ago and haven't had a chance (or the courage) to make a coat with it yet.  2010 is going to be the year.  I'm hoping to use Simplicity 2508.  This is high on the project list so that I can still wear it while it is winter.

9.  Clean out the fabric stash.

I have a lot of fabric that I will likely never use.  I'm finding my fabric closet is pretty full and cluttered and it is hard to find what I'm looking for.  Clutter makes me feel agitated and I'd like to feel inspired, not agitated by my fabric stash.

10.  Comment more on other sewing blogs.

I faithfully read a lot of sewing blogs and really enjoy them.  I don't often take the time to comment.  I love getting comments on my blog and can't imagine that other people don't, too.  So, I'm going to start taking the time.

Okay, ten goals.  I think I can do that.  Actually, I'm quite inspired to get started right now!  Buh-bye!

Grocery Bags

More gifts!

These are just like the still-all-too-ubiquitous plastic grocery bags, but they're fabric. 

I followed this tutorial and you actually use a plastic bag as a pattern.  The instructions are very good and include a pocket so that the bag can be folded up and is easy to keep in a purse or a car's glove box.

Mostly for the sake of the gift recipients, here's how to fold up the bag....

1.  Lay the bag pocket side down and fold it length-wise using the edges of the pocket as a guide.

2.  Fold it in half, aligning the top of the handles with the bottom of the bag.

3.  Fold in half again and then reach into pocket with your hand and turn the whole thing (pocket included) inside out.

Happy shopping!