Friday, November 30, 2012

Friends I Haven't Met (Yet)

One phenomenon of the Internet is that we sewers get acquainted with like-minded souls, some of whom live thousands of miles away. In fact, if you are reading this, you *might* be one of those friends.

Recently I had a happy experience with just such a friend. I had admired a particular T shirt she made and blogged about here. I just fell head over heels in love with the fabric (and the pattern she chose and the way it looks on her).


She offered to buy some fabric for me since I live about 1000 miles from the store. Seriously, what a friend in need, and friend in deed.

Initially I just could not see taking her up on that kind offer. I called the store where she bought the divine fabric, and encountered customer-no-service. Evidently they specialize in that, as well as divine fabric.

I even tried email to the store, sending them a picture of the needed fabric. Luddites.


I took ArtAttack up on her selfless offer(*). And the fabric arrived recently. I haven't cut into it yet, but I have it out in my sewing studio where it can be properly admired.

Aren't Internet friends just amazing?

* Oh, and I take full responsibility for her additional purchase the day she bought my fabric. She has already made something luscious with it. So now, maybe I need some of that fabric too...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

'Tis the Season

It happens every year. Soon after Thanksgiving, I become light-headed and a little too happy.

Yes, I find myself thinking, this year I will make my gifts.

For a week or two I am oh so perky about it all. I make a gift or two and I'm pleased.

Beware. I'm in that stage right now.

I just finished a jewelry bag for DDIL. After a recent trip, I heard her say to DS, "I really need a jewelry bag." So I mouthed to my son I'LL MAKE IT. He nodded and filed it away.

Well, here it is. And I like it. I hope she does too.

The process was fun too. It reminded me of a programming exercise I used to assign so students could learn a bit about recursion. I had to back into it. I pictured it from the outside in, but had to construct it from the inside out.

I might post the dimensions and/or the directions in case anyone is interested, or maybe just for me. Next time I'll have to reinvent it, otherwise.

It has some cool features like little linen tubes that earrings can easily pierce, and the straps also allow her to secure a necklace by weaving it through the linen tubes. The two zippered end pockets allow her to see what's inside.

The only challenge was to avoid over-stitching and then causing the perforated plastic to separate. I think it's OK.

If I make it again, I might make it larger.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

AIM - vesty

with TSW trio Tee
When Cutting Line Design's Artist In Motion (AIM) arrived, I thought I would start with the tunic. I'm still intrigued with shirts and I'm still taking Pam Howard's online course over on Craftsy.

But the vesty just kept rising to the top of the sewing queue, along with this Japanese cotton I purchased from Louise Cutting at an ASG event (Augusta, maybe?).

Plus, after reading through the directions, I thought this might be almost instant gratification. It wasn't instant but it was very gratifying.

It seems that I always purchase too little fabric, especially when it comes to something special. So I found that using the purchased 1 and 1/3 yard of 45 inch fabric required special maneuvers. The pattern envelope calls for 2 yards of 45 inch fabric.

I do love this kind of challenge. I'm thinking that's why I buy too little. Maybe. And I'm cheap.

with CLD's TBP
I was about to give up on this fabric for the vest when I remembered that Japanese designers sometimes place the selvage so that it shows. It is a kind-of designer's signature (chop), I think. And this is a pretty selvage.

So I cut the back as two pieces, each with the center on the selvage, overlapped the two selvages and stitched together. Since this is not a wash-and-wear item, I don't think the selvage will cause any drape issues. At the end, I added a little sashiko and some French knots to the back to highlight this.

I used radiance as the interlining and love it. It may become my go-to lining. So user-friendly with its blend of cotton and silk. It's a little pricey for lining though, so it probably won't become my lining go-to.

The binding is bias silk dupioni, always a favorite fabric for binding.

The vesty goes with several items I already have, including CLD's blouse perfected and TSW trio Tee. Now I'm ready to make the tunic, I think, in a light-weight coordinating corduroy.

But first a muslin of the tunic so that I can tweak the fit a bit. BTW, this vest is one-size-fits-most. How fun is that?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Artist In Motion arrival

My *named* Cutting Line Designs pattern arrived today.

I have been anxiously awaiting its arrival. I always anxiously await the arrival of new CLD patterns, now that I am on auto-ship and follow Louise over on Artisan's Square.

But this is different. I got to name the pattern and supply some details for the lovely little story that always accompanies one of Louise's patterns:

Sightseeing in her relaxed tunic, Martha was keen to experience the Shinkansen Bullet Train from Tokyo to Kyoto. Weather permitting, they would have a splendid view of Mt. Fuji en route. After lunch at the Miyako Hotel, Julie knew her tunic and softly draped over-vest were perfect for biking in Kyoto, with visits to the Sanjusangendo Hall and Kiyomizu Buddhist temple.

The back story: over on Artisan's Square, Louise asked if we wanted to help her name future patterns. And, of course, we did! There were lots of cool names so a vote was cast and my name came in second.

L to R: striped linen, Japanese cotton, radiance lining, burnt orange corduroy, AIM
Now I have the fun of making these two clever pieces.

And I think I have just the right fabric. I have this light-weight burnt orange corduroy. I'm thinking it would be perfect for the over-vest. Or maybe combine it with some of Louise's Japanese cotton that I have been hoarding for a while has been aging nicely in my stash.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

pants, pants, pants

V7881 - slacks?
While working on a pants muslin, it occurred to me that I've heard this more than once. Pants fit can be classified into 3 categories:

  • trousers - crotch is low and does not touch the body
  • slacks- crotch is more closely fitted but still stands away from the body a bit
  • jeans - crotch is tightly fitted up against the body, causing a cupping in under the buttocks*

Sarah Veblen's book cover

I think I finally understand. Hooray for experiential learning. And pictures. Sarah Veblen covers pants fitting in her book The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting. Nice pix.

V8546 - trousers?
Pants fit is considered, perhaps, the most difficult of fitting. We are all shaped so differently. And the shape of the lower torso changes when you sit and when you stand. I noticed that because my gym has these horrible mirrors everywhere.

V1115 - jeans?
I hope to muslin 2-4 pants patterns. Sure do wish the descriptions were more precise about the crotch fit. Even the Claire Shaeffer pants pattern envelope is vague about the fit.

And I also like a pull-on pant like TSW plaza pants and CLD's one-seams. I'm thinking those are really trousers. Maybe.

*a cute look when you have a rounded posterior.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Night Results

As I watch the US election results discussed, cussed, and fussed about,  I feel lucky to have such a satisfying hobby. It doesn't make anyone mad and makes me (mostly) smile.

I am keenly aware of this when a project proceeds smoothly. Take this jacket - Louise Cutting's By Popular Demand. It contains her signature instructions that are clearly articulated, thoroughly illustrated.

I was influenced by Margy of A Fool for Fabric and her way cool biker styling. She looks so very chic and hip in her jeans jackets. And I began to notice that often, as leaving the house, I wished for casual jacket to toss on. BPD may be just right.

Also I recently purchased this hand-woven Guatemalan fabric from a vendor at a quilt show. I love the colors and the mood of the weave which also seems to work with a jeans jacket.

The fabric did present a few challenges. Since it is hand-woven, it ravels easily and quickly. Also the fabric is only 36 inches wide. The stripes are symmetric around the center fold. I was able to manipulate the stripe successfully with one exception.
bias binding on inside

And I'll never tell.

Next up, buttonholes and buttons. I am auditioning these wooden buttons.

Then I hope to start wearing it. A lot.

And, now, back to the election coverage. I may have to eat chocolate.