Monday, September 26, 2011

The Most Expensive Fabric

This piece contains the most expensive fabric I have ever sewn. Even though the sewing involves few details and mostly straight sewing, I have found myself procrastinating and even doing housework instead of finishing this.

I've bought and sewn expensive fabric before, but it was always my fabric, my project, my set of mistakes to turn into design opportunities. No so, here. It is part of a group project to create new vestments for my church.

face fabric, lining sandwich on denim
Also I have discovered that my particular part of the team project, the alter fall, is more like a home dec project than it is like garment sewing. It is large and heavy. The tapestry (the expensive stuff - maybe $200 per yard?) ravels like crazy. It is built on a base of heavy denim and get more and more unwieldy as I progress.

It has reminded me how much I enjoy making garments. Even little tiny garments for grandchildren. And I don't like sewing to spec either. I like total freedom.

It's a good thing I never had to support myself and family with sewing. We would have all starved to death.

I am on my way to church for a *fitting.*

I will finish this within the next 24 hours. I swear promise.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Shirt for DGS4

Finished Shirt
Nearly a year ago, I found this shirt-weight cotton football fabric at a quilt shop (Sew 'N' Sew, I think) in Summerville SC. DGS4's parents are Clemson fans.  DGS4 is playing football this fall. He's about to have a birthday. And I just had a lesson on collars and collar stands at City-wide Couture. The stars aligned and I made this shirt.

Thought I had found a good pattern in my stack of Ottobre magazines. I wanted to practice Lorraine's techniques. I was only a little disappointed when I realized the collar and collar stand were a single shaped piece. This was a good-news-bad-news situation. On the one hand, I really wanted to try the cool techniques; on the other hand, maybe my first-run would be better on a larger garment. A larger garment for me.

Clean finish on yoke
Hot-dog method for yoke
Ottobre instructions are terse but, in this case, they had a fairly good description of how to make sure the yoke has a clean finish on the inside and outside. It's just like the method described for making pillow cases for ConKerr Cancer, I think. I just love little details like this.
Neckline before attaching buttons

Gotta clip the neck before attaching collar
The rest of the instructions were more typical of Ottobre. Fine, if you know what you are doing.

DGS4 lives in a warm climate so I made the sleeves short. That took a bit of guess work, trying to figure correct proportions from DH's shirt. In fact, it was fun to keep DH's shirt in the sewing room with me to try to duplicate as many of the details as possible.

I'm pleased with the resulting shirt. Hope DGS4 is too, but I'm going to a big box store to buy a Lego set just in case ;)

So now I'm dreaming of the Hibiscus shirt from Sewing Workshop for me. Maybe it has a real collar with separate collar stand. And a real placket, and...

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Little Nightie

Elastic added to sleeve hems

Lace added to hem

Nightgown B5357
This is another version of Butterick 5357, which is a very simple pattern for a peasant blouse. I made myself a PJ top out of this pattern and have enjoyed it, so thought it might make a good present for DD.

The fabric is a soft cotton plaid from Gail K in Atlanta. It may be cotton lawn. The plaid is woven into the fabric and it seems not to have a front or back side to it. Because it is a good quality fabric, it was very easy to match the plaid at the side seams. It was a dream to sew. I think it will wash and dry nicely.

This time, I lengthened the pattern and added some elastic to the sleeve hems. My PJ top seems to have wings which is fine but not all that pretty. So I thought the elastic would tame the wild wings. I like the way it looks on the hanger.

It's very hard to sew for DD but I am hopeful with this little birthday gift. She is a sweet and thoughtful appreciator of my sewing activities, especially when her children are the beneficiaries, but I've not had good luck with clothes for her. She goes for simplicity in style, fit and pattern. And she's very happy with things from the Big Box stores.

She and I have very different bodies - I am a pear; she is an inverted triangle. I don't mind weird stuff if I perceive it to be funky. She is a busy mom of four and doesn't have time for much funkiness. I have a hard time reshaping my choices.

Maybe she'll will like (and wear) this. I hope so!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sashiko - crisis companion

inside front by hem
 Having passed from the dark side to the light side of a family crisis, I think it's OK to post about this. Stepson was critically ill (stroke plus heart surgery), but now he is home and recovering. His recovery is amazing and a delight to all who know and love him. He and his lovely wife are managing it all so beautifully.

We all spent a lot of time in the hospital waiting room this past week. And I was out of state with no sewing machine to complete my days. As luck would have it, I was still working on a sashiko project which I grabbed as we ran out of the house.

What a wonderful way to expend my excess nervous energy. No only were we all worried about my stepson, but such a crisis brings together an odd grouping of family. So I had excess emotional energy too.

Sashiko is truly zen.

what everyone else was doing