Saturday, July 23, 2016

Alabama Chanin in Kansas

After the 3 day workshop, Sew Kansas, Linda Lee offered a class on Alabama Chanin. The project was a scarf although some people opted to upgrade to a t-shirt, the eTee. I decided to go with the scarf. Here is mine:



Because we were working with stenciled fat eighths from Alabama Chanin, we used negative reverse applique.  Reverse applique requires two complete layers. Negative reverse applique involves cutting away the background of the top layer and so is perfect for using these small stenciled pieces on a larger piece, in this case, a scarf. 

Yep, I'm hooked. My birthday is coming up. Maybe I need to buy a kit from Alabama Chanin. I loved that the stenciling part was complete. The sewing part is what I love.

The following are samples from the Sewing Workshop, not my work:







Friday, July 22, 2016

Sew Kansas 2016 Part II

Day 2 of this year's Sew Kansas involved some actual sewing on my part.

My Valencia pants are clearly too long. More tweaking needed. I'm wearing it with a Zona sample from TSW collection. It has been lengthened and sewn in several different denims. I really like the styling on the Zona and would not have thought about lengthening it into a jacket. 
It is interesting to see how different people manage the time. Some people sew constantly. One friend made 3 pairs of pants, 2 tops and then she cut out a jacket. I like to wander some, make notes, take pictures, and sew a little.



My approach generated one pair of Valencia pants and a lot of inspiration/information. The fabric is a cross-dyed gray linen. It's that signature flat front found in the Plaza, Urban and Trio pants. The Valencia is the most basic of those four pants patterns. Not much to show for 3 days, eh?

I'm back home and I still need to tweak the length a bit.

But I had fun trying things on and taking pictures to extend the inspiration/information plunge once home.

This is an example of something that was fun to try on. This is a sample of the Tosca dress. It does not do much for me. Good to know.


One of my favorite activities at Sew Kansas is exploration of their basement. They store *vintage* Sewing Workshop garments here.



There are an assortment of details in these older garments that are always appealing to me.


Inventor Shirt

Joplin Pullover


San Diego jacket


Mix It shirt as a vest
And here is a gorgeous version of the Tremont jacket by Karen Tornow. The chunks of color on the front panel, sleeves and elsewhere are a single layer of fabric. All fabrics are boiled wool. This means there is no need to finish the edges, reducing bulk. These colors are full of cheer.


Please note that except for the boring gray pants in the first picture, these are samples from the Sewing Workshop, NOT my work. But I can dream.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sew Kansas 2016 Part I

I am just about to depart Topeka for home, having completed a 3 day workshop, Sew Kansas, followed by a one day seminar on the Alabama Chanin lifestyle and techniques.

Tops: MixIt shirt, Future shirt pattern, Plaza vest, Barcelona top, Siena top (below), Tremont Jacket
This is the second Sew Kansas for me - the first was in 2015.  Sew Kansas is a 3 day workshop taught by Linda Lee of The Sewing Workshop. It takes place in her shop in Topeka KS.

This is a version of the San Diego jacket, an older TSW pattern.



Good lighting. Great company. Fun times. Delicious food as needed. Individual help. And wonderful master classes taught by Linda Lee several times a day. Each of us chose what and when to work on sewing projects.

Here is the vintage San Diego on me.
Linda Lee is an experienced and accomplished interior designer and it certainly shows in the design and layout of her shop. One large room contains the classroom studio with Bernina sewing machines, samples of each current pattern in multiple sizes, the patterns, notions, fabrics and work stations for each of the 4 employees. It seems like a lot for one room, but it is arranged artfully and efficiently.


And here is a new version of the San Diego. Cool, eh?
Monique, one of the students, modeled her new San Diego. It is still being tweaked but will also include a cute tunic version. Can you see the interesting hem line?
It is always exciting to see what is in the works. I like the older version of the San Diego but I cannot wait for the new version to come out.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sewing at 75 MPH

July is a month full of travel. And heart-break, evidently.

I am a passenger, not a driver. What is driving us all?

Lord, have mercy.



This piece is small but can grow organically thanks to Jude Hill of Spirit Cloth, and her combination of instruction and inspiration, especially here.

Despite the speed at which I am being propelled from one location to the next, I am engaged in slow sewing. Maybe not my best work, but still satisfying. And the light is fantastic.

I keep wanting to hand-quilt a larger quilt but traditional techniques have failed to sustain me. Just too much to manage, once the top, batting, and back are all pinned or otherwise basted together. I feel like I'm drowning.

I tried omitting the batting. After all I live in the southeast US and so a light quilt would be useful. It was still unwieldy and I did not like the way the layers worked (did not work) together.

So, thanks, Jude. This approach fits my needs just fine, as I am always working from the edges.


It will remain light weight with mostly 2 layers, and it will have two right sides.

Or two wrong sides.

Hoping and making.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence Day

Today we in the United States celebrate our independence from England. I wonder about all this. Can patriotism morph into nationalism to easily?

This day certainly brings back memories. And I am an American, happy to be one.

Quilts are an American tradition, especially scrappy quilts. This one is about 72 inches square with wool batting and a plain white back. One of a few UFO's that I am trying to finish.






This one makes me happy. Happy day to you!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Not Sewing


Mulberry Silks and Fine Fabrics
Carrboro, NC

Gorgeous store, much temptation, not cheap.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Trio Cargo Pants

Lots and lots of people have made and commented on these pants, so I'll try to be brief. These are the pants portion from a pattern called the Trio published by The Sewing Workshop (TSW).



I like them.

Signature detail on pants from The Sewing Workshop - flat front. Gotta like that!
And what's not to like? Some people say they have omitted the long deep pockets, claiming them to be not-useful. I wore mine for the first time today and used one of those darned cute pockets for my car key while I filled the tank. Just right.



And...the pockets are so much fun to make. I was scratching my head while trying to follow the instructions. I am a professional ripper so no big deal. BTW, did you know that the women working in the very early space program were called Computers. That was their job title - Computers. And guess what they did? Any way I've earned the job title Ripper. And I would have loved being a Computer.

The boxed corner construction on the pockets is quite clever.
These are loose-fitting, that is, big. The big part is not in my hip fluff area so really no problem. Since so many people went down a size in these (I did not), I am looking forward to trying on a smaller pair when I go to Kansas for Sew Kansas week after next.



I will be making more of these. I like that shape around the ankles.