Friday, January 30, 2009

Last One!

Here's a photo of the finished blouse. I really like the way it turned out! I also meant to add that

this fabric is someI bought in LA last summer at one of the fabric district stops...don't remember the name of the store!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Progress! BWOF #120 1/2009

I redid the sleeve plackets--still not perfect, but "good enough" that I will not be self conscious wearing it! It is done save the buttons and button holes. Since I'm not sure what buttons I'll use, I am waiting to make the button holes.
Thanks for the encouragement I received! I do think I will enjoy the blouse.
I must give kudos to Lori at Girls in the Garden--I read her entries and didn't use the Burda directions much! I made a size 40 and it is roomy, but that's much better than too tight!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I am working on the blouse #120 from Burda WOF 1/2009....can't get the darned sleeve placket to go in. I have now frog stitched it about 5 times and decided I just need a break! I love the style and the fabric I'm using. It's a white striped shirting and the shirt looks really nice partially constructed. I am off to look at my sewing references to see if I can get good illustrated instructions for the continuous lap type of placket finish.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sewing Goodies

I know I often am more enamored by the tools than the process...but I wonder how many more things I need to accumulate....I just got the following goodies from Sew True (NAYY) in NYC (via web/mail). I got the needle pin tracing wheel to trace Burda and Ottobre magazine patterns. I trace most patterns to be honest so I can modify the patterns without destroying the originals. I also got a short piece of their pattern paper--nice quality with printed grid and wide width. I will try it out tomorrow on a couple of picks from the new Burda.

I also got pattern hanging hooks--but now I need to find a place to hang them...hmmmm. I know friends who have a rack in the garage, spare room, etc. BUT, the garage is DH's territory--he has a wonderful workshop in our remodeled garage. We do have room for cars and lawn equipt, etc., but not for me to infringe on his area. I have a large sewing studio with built in storage, but I'll need to redo the configuration of the storage in order to hang the patterns. Probably not a bad idea!

Finally, I got a punch tool for marking the patterns--notches, darts, fold lines, center front, etc. It just makes a slit in the pattern which can be used as a guide for clipping with my scissors after cutting out the pieces.

With the current economic situation, I am glad I have machines I love and that I don't covet the newest, shiniest, most expensive new model-of-the-season machine. Compared to many women, I have a horde of machines as it is! I certainly have fabric to last for years, though I do still buy pieces that really catch my eye. I also have 5 grands that I sew for sproadically.

Any other must-have notions, tools, that you can't live without? I find I can get along with patterns, tracing paper, pen, pencil, pins, weights, good shears, nippers, and a dependable sewing machine. I find a serger almost indispensible...and that's it. Of course, I have LOTS more stuff and I do use it. But do I NEED it???

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Sewing Backstory

Several iconic sewing bloggers have recently posted their sewing backstories, so I decided to add a short one here too. My mom was my sewing teacher. I started out doing embroidery from kits with prestamped designs--I think I was 6 or 7 when I did these. I always made doll clothes by hand--I don't remember a time when I was not sewing or cutting fabric. I have always been a reader as well, so lots of my sewing knowledge I got from books, patterns, Mom's magazines, etc.

My mother was the best. She made most of my clothes when I was growing up, to include my wedding dress and many prom dresses, formals, etc. She taught me to sew, but I never really felt I could achieve her standards, so I didn't sew much until after I married (and was in need of clothing at low cost!) My parents gave me money for college graduation and I purchased a brand new Kenmore sewing machine and cabinet. That was 1970 and I have been sewing to some degree ever since. Our sons were born in 71 and 73 and I sewed many of their overalls and dress up clothing. I also had a career in education, so I sewed as time permitted and my interest varied in strength over the years. I made lots of "request" items for the boys--a neon orange and purple snowboarding jacket for DS #2. capri-like pants for same son when boys were not allowed to wear shorts to school, etc. My interest rekindled in 1996 with the arrival of DGD #1 and the chance to sew for a little girl!

I sew for me and for the kids--not too much for other adults or DH. I recently made some camera gear for him and would sew just about anything he asked for. He is VERY accommodating in terms of supporting my hobby. As a surprise, he bought me my first quality machine, a Bernina 1130, in about 1985 or 86. I still sew primarily on that machine, although I have newer, more expensive ones. I have an embroidery combo machine that gets used in spurts. I either do lots of embroidery-driven projects, or I do none! Now that I am retired, I pick and choose what I wish to sew. I made quilts for each of the 5 grands when they were born.

Sewing is my one ongoing connection to my mom. We lost her in October of 2006 and my sister and I split up her sewing machines and supplies. DS took the newer machines and I took Mom's Singer Featherweight machine. I remember Mom making my clothes on the little Singer and it holds so many tender memories for me. I have become more patient and more demanding of my skills as I "mature." I hope to reach the same level of sewing as Mom one day.

I have attended a few seminars and sewing expos over the years, but as far as real training goes, Mom was the real teacher.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Outfit on the Body

Here's the outfit on me--taken on my way out the front door to go to the dentist...but it looks more like a jacket and pants than the last photo. Even the t shirt is a perfect t I made at the fall seminar. I don't think I'm as lopsided as this photo appears, but we were in a hurry.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Biarritz and Oxford

Here is a simple outfit made from Loes Hinse patterns. The jacket is a "tweaked" Biarritz per Loes's instructions and the pants are Oxfords. Both made from a black ghost crepe fabric purchased from Sharon at Casual Elegance. I didn't like the jacket at first--too lightweight for my I bought some braid at a ribbon store in Long Beach and hand basted that around the neck edge to give it a bit more body. Still didn't look great to me, so I added the large button and was much happier with the end result. The pants are a TNT pattern which fits and is so easy to make! I'm not sure if I will wear these pieces together or as separates, but it is nice to have 2 more items in the wardrobe.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year!

I did make a Biarritz jacket and some Oxford pants last week--black ghost crepe fabric and some braid trim. I'll see if I can get a photo soon. Black is so hard to photograph, however.

We spent last week in CA--spent a day with my dad and went to Disneyland with my sister, her kids and families. We worked at the Aquarium one afternoon and just enjoyed ourselves. Lots of walking, lazing, etc.

Photos coming soon!