Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hot Pads

More kits from Connecting Threads, these hot pads coordinate with the Market Bags in the previous post.  I used one layer of Insul-Brite and one layer of quilt batting to make sure they truly work as a hot pad.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Market Bags

I love to sew with kits as I love when the fabrics have been selected for me.  If I put the fabric colors together, I never seem to have enough contrast.  I made two of these bags that look perfect to take to the farmers market.  The green and purple on the outside of the bag are pockets.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Second Coffee Sack Bag

This is my second attempt at creating a tote bag with the coffee bags I brought back from Hawaii.  I thought the first one would be substantial with just the burlap and a cotton lining.  After taking it on a trip, realized that it wasn't substantial enough.  This bag was created using fusible fleece on both the outer and lining pieces and works much better.  Now I am in the process of taking apart the first bag and adding the fleece to the bag pieces.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Self-drafted Apron

Using scraps from the Market Bag and Hot Pads, a matching apron was in order.  I wanted something simple so drafted this on my own.  Turned out pretty cute.

Black and silver bra

This is the last bra I plan to make for a while.  Famous last words.  Love the fabric which is black knit with shiny silver flowers.  While bras are not too difficult to sew once you have the pattern fitted, they are tedious as none of the seams are very long.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

White bras

One of my first projects with the new sewing furniture was to complete two white bras.  One is out of tricot and the other out of cotton knit.  The knit one is a lot easier to sew on and they are both comfortable.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

New sewing furniture

I haven't been sewing lately because I have been working on a major organizing project for my sewing room. The local sewing store had a sale on Koala furniture and I decided it was a good time to move the sewing machine and serger off Costco plastic tables.  Furniture arrived yesterday so now it is time to get back to sewing.  While the delivery service did take the furniture out of the box and place it in the room, they didn't install the corner top and shelves.  Luckily the instructions were pretty good and I was able to get everything put together.  Love the new furniture and can't wait to get time to put it to use.  The good news is that the sewing room is really cleaned out and organized.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Black and White Polka Dot Bra

I took Ann St. Clair's bra making class a few years ago and have been making my bras since then.  Making my own bras enables me to get a custom fit and lets me have very fun bras that aren't always available in larger sizes in ready to wear.  This bra is made from the Queen Bra Elite pattern.  It is one the kits she sells and I think it cost me $16.00 for the kit.  Love the polka dots.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Three Slinky Tank Tops

I have heard that slinky was hard to sew on but I love the fabric for tank tops or shells.  I have a number of them from Chico's but they are getting expensive so decided to try to make my own.  These fabrics came from the Michael Levine outlet store in LA where you purchase fabric by the pound.  It wasn't that hard to sew on and now I have three new tank tops to go under my blazers.  The pattern I used was Silhouette Patterns #500 Tank Top/Pleated Top.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Vogue 1292 Ruffle Skirt

One of the online classes Sandra Betzina has online was how to make this pattern out of ruffled knit fabric.  I found this fabric in the garment district in Toronto on one of my business trips.  It was a really simple skirt to make and is lined with a black knit fabric to make it easy to slip on and off.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Silhouette Patterns #2850 Michelle's One Piece Skirt Version 2

This version of the skirt was made using a sheer fabric.  It also came in a kit from Silhouette Patterns but wasn't for this skirt pattern.  The kit instructions called for making a skirt using two layers of the fabric. I didn't have enough fabric to do that so fused black interfacing to the back of each piece and made the skirt this time with the seams to the inside of the skirt.  Hem and top of the skirt were finished with a serged rolled hem with a ribbon for the waistband.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Silhouette Patterns #2850 Michele's One Piece Skirt Version 1

Working through my stash, I finally have opened some of the kits I ordered a few years ago from Silhouette Patterns.  This is a blue rayon fabric.  This version of the skirt is sewn with the seams on the outside then serged.  The hem and top of the skirt are finished with a rolled hem.  The waistband is a strip of ribbon topstitched on the outside of the skirt top.  I perfected my zipper skills on this skirt with an invisible zipper.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Summer skirts Butterick 5391

It is very hot where I live in the summer and I love wearing skirts instead of pants as I think they are cooler.  These skirts when together really fast.  The first skirt is out of a stretch Sateen.  The next one is out of a micro fiber.  Both of these fabrics are from Fabric Mart.  The third skirt is a cotton border print from Windmill Fabrics.  I have a huge fabric stash and am trying to sew it down while decreasing the amount of new fabric I bring in.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Kwik Sew 2908

I have discovered that I really like to wear underwear made out of ITY knit.  The blue pair was made out of scraps from a tank top made last summer and the brown polka dots were made from some fabric I haven't made up in a dress yet.  Altogether, I made 8 pair so will have enough now for a long trip.:)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Tablet case McCalls 5824

I recently purchased the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet for work travel.  Love it!  Because most of the work I do is Windows based, I had problems with other tablet operating systems.  This gives me the convenience of a tablet with the features of a laptop.  The tablet is not cheap so I want to make sure I protect it so made a case for it reworking a McCalls pattern for a laptop.  The padding for the case is fusible fleece.  It came out brighter than my standard black work travel ensemble which needed a pop of color.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Silhouette Patterns Zoanne's Cape

This jacket is a modified version of Zoanne's Cape.  I rescued it from the scrap pile.  I originally made it too short so added a piece of fabric to the bottom to make the jacket a better length for me.  It is unlined with all the seams serged.  While a little casual, this will be a perfect travel jacket.  I love the bright color.  The fabric is a polyester eyelet from Winmill Fabrics in Boston.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sewing Workshop Liberty Shirt

I loved the pistachio shirt I made while taking the Craftsy class "Sewing with Silks" so made another in a tan silk shantung.  The only change I made was to shorten the sleeves.  Love the buttons which, amazingly enough, came from Dollar Tree.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sewing Workshop Mimosa top

I bought this kit from The Sewing Workshop on eBay.  I like the top pattern and fabric but not sure if I would make it up again in a thin knit.  It didn't seem stable enough so will try again later in a woven fabric.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sewing Workshop Opal Jacket

I seem to be on a roll with Sewing Workshop patterns.  This jacket was made out of some fabric I bought at a thrift store for $1.00.  The reason I bought the fabric was because the knit resembled the knits they use in St. John clothing.  It was really lovely to sew on.

The first photo makes the knit look teal but the second photo is closer to the true color.  Instead of serging the raw edges, I used black fold over elastic.  A first for me and will use this again.

The jacket needs a good press.  I try to press my garments but never to great success.  One of the tips I learned early on was to take my sewn garments to the dry cleaner to have them professionally pressed the first time so that is what I do with all of my sewn garments.  It will look much better when it comes back.:)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Sewing Workshop Pearl Jacket

My second jacket sewn during the long business trip was the Pearl Jacket.  This was made out of a textured silk fabric but I don't know the name of the fabric type.  I tried to capture a photo of the fabric in the second photo.  While this jacket may not be dressy enough for business, it will be perfect to wear on travel days and more casual office days.  A very comfortable jacket that almost has the feel of a cardigan.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sewing Workshop Valencia Jacket

Here is the first jacket completed on my long business trip.  The fabric is a watercolor silk shantung purchased at Fabric Mart.  I love how this jacket turned out and will be just the right weight for summer.  I may even pair it with white jeans or Capri's for an upcoming vacation.  This jacket went together very quick and was the perfect travel sewing project as it didn't require very many notions.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sewing and Business Travel

Most of you don't know that I travel part or all of every week most months of the year.  While I travel some during January and February, I travel through out the U.S. and Canada every week from March through November.  While most travel days are 10 hour days, about 5 times a year I get evenings free in the same hotel (hard to get much done on the weeks where you change hotel rooms every night) or a free weekend.  I try to pack a sewing project every week which is usually the hand sewing needed for a project, tracing a pattern or a hand embroidery project.  For those 5 times a year, I bring a sewing machine with me.

This week is the first of the sewing trips this year.

This is one of my carry-on bags:

And it holds my sewing machine.  This is my travel Brother machine that is also an embroidery machine so has a more powerful motor.  And it also has my favorite feature, the thread cutting button. I try to protect the  bobbin winder and thread intake on the top with foam and batting.  While I don't have to take it out for TSA screening, most of the screeners have never seen one go through the airport except for my regular TSA people in Fresno.

I made this padded bag for notions so scissors and pins won't stick through my luggage.  These are the notions I brought with me for this trip.
And these are the projects I plan to work on this week when I get time.  I cut the fabric at home and run through every notion I need for that project and put them all together in a zip lock bag.
The sewing notions and fabric all go in to my checked luggage.  Can't forget the most important part of the sewing supplies - the foot pedal, sewing feet, bobbins and power cord.
The reason I have all this room in my checked luggage for sewing supplies is that I build my travel wardrobe around black. I wear a pair of black pants and shoes to travel and pack another pair of black pants and shoes.  All my tops coordinate with black pants and I try to wear each top at least twice on a trip.

Hope all the free time I anticipate happens for sewing and I have something to post in a few days.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Red and black jacket

My second light weight jacket without a collar.  This polyester was almost too light in weight so I fused interfacing to each jacket piece.  It is also lined with black polyester fabric.  I love how this one turned out and will wear this a lot this summer.  Time now to take a break from the Fashion Sewing Group pattern 1945.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Teal and charcoal jacket

Now that I have a jacket pattern that fits (trust me that this jacket fits me better than the mannequin) I wanted to make some lighter weight jackets.  This is the first one made with Fashion Sewing Group 1945 without the collar.  The jacket fabric is a polyester light weight fabric and lining is polyester as well.  Both fabrics came from the LA garment district.  I finished the hand sewing while on a trip last week and wore it to a cocktail party with black pants and shell with silver jewelry.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fashion Sewing Group Pattern #1945 - Teal Dupioni

I have decided April is jacket month and am going to see how many I can get done.  These take a little longer to make when you line them and I serge every seam after it is sewn.  Still, they are faster to make than a quilt.:)

This teal polyester dupioni came from the garment district in Los Angeles and has a polyester lining to match.  I still want to practice more on jackets before I get brave enough to make one in a more expensive fabric.

For this jacket, I eliminated the vent on the sleeve and decided to try it without buttons.  I really like how this turned out and will wear this a lot this spring when I am in the office.  Not sure how this will remain wrinkle free for travel.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Fashion Sewing Group Pattern #1945 -Red and black

After sewing the Silhouette Pattern Jacket, I wanted to sew a jacket that was put together more traditionally and looked more finished inside.  I have had this princess seam jacket pattern from Fashion Sewing Group for a few years but wasn't brave enough to try it.  It has a vented sleeve (my first) and is fully lined.  After three muslins, I got the fit right so the jacket went together pretty smoothly.  The fabric is a red with black sueded polyester I had in my stash and I lined it with black polyester.  The buttons also came from my stash. I thought I needed an uneven number of buttons on the front and with the large buttons I chose, I think I should have stayed with two.  Next time.

I am pleased with the fit and the jacket.  It looks boxy on the mannequin but then when I look in the mirror, I look boxy too.  This should be a good travel jacket as I don't think it will wrinkle too much.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Silhouette Pattern #1350 Janie's Jacket

I am on to jackets now because I wear one to work everyday.  Trying to get the perfect fit, I didn't want to make the first jacket out of expensive fabric.  This is some kind of a polyester blend I got years ago at Windmill Fabrics in Boston.  The trim is the wrong side of the fabric and I lined it with a pink polka dot fabric I had in my stash.  The fit is close.  If I made this again, I would lower the neck edge and maybe add some width to the front so I can add buttons or some sort of lapped closure.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Self drafted top

From the bodice sloper I came home with from the Fabulous Fit Retreat, I tried to make a shell and teach myself flat pattern drafting at the same time. I made bias from the fabric to go around the neck and armholes and serged all the seams.  Might try french seams for a cleaner finish next time.  I like the fabric and the top is going to go well with charcoal gray pants.  Next time I will also make the shoulders narrower and the armscye larger.  Getting closer to a great fit, now just need to get better at creating design details from a sloper.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Fabulous Fit Retreat Review

I think I mentioned that I was attending the Fabulous Fit Retreat in February and am just now getting around to writing a review.  We lucked out in that usually there are at least 6-8 people in the retreat and for some reason, most dropped out at the last minute so there were only two of us.  The retreat was put on by Conselle Institute for Image Management and the teachers were Judith Rasband, co-author of one of the best fitting books:

Personal Wardrobe: Fitting and Pattern Alteration

and Loraine Henry, an excellent fitting instructor that appears at most of the sewing expos

Lorraine Henry

We went through the entire book, Fitting and Pattern Alteration in the five and a half day retreat.  In addition to learning how to make tweaks to a pattern by altering using the seam method, we ended up with a perfectly fitting sloper for a bodice, skirt and pants.  I have been sewing since grade school but had never taken a class in fitting and this was well worth the time and money.  I now know why my garments haven't been fitting and can't wait to start sewing garments I love again..

We also learned about different body types and clothing styles that flatter for each of the body types.  Judith gave several lectures on building wardrobe clusters and clothes that flatter.  I came home evaluating the clothes in my closet to make sure I was wearing them and that they weren't wearing me and that they were flattering.

This was my first sewing education vacation I have given myself and plan to do this again.  I highly recommend this retreat.