Saturday, January 28, 2012


I've been super busy at work, and haven't really had time to post. If the choice is between a few minutes to blog and a few minutes to sew, the sewing generally wins!

BUT I have been doing some sewing. The navy jacket became a wadder because everything I tried to do to correct it just made it worse... I do know that the pattern fits quite well though, so that's a step in the right direction for sure! I also need to type up some "directions" though so I don't do things out of order. But other than that, it's going to become a reality pretty soon.

In the meantime, I decided I needed to do something less stressful so I decided to do pants. Many years ago when Don McCunn (How to Make Sewing Patterns) was giving live pants drafting classes, I took the class from him. I learned how to draft pants quickly and easily, and for the first time in my life had pants that actually fit me everywhere. Not ones that were okay, but ones that fit my own unique shape and form. Since then, I've made so many pair, and have drafted so many patterns, I could almost do them in my sleep. I have added a few refinements over the years~ couldn't live without Sandra Betzina's fly front zipper instructions, and I love the inseam pockets from David Coffin's book "Trousers."

So the first pair of pants are made, picture at the bottom. Sorry everything is on hangars until I get the hubby and I together at the same time with enough time to do pictures. This pair is a strange cotton lycra twill from the stash, source unknown, and I've added pockets that are kind of like the ones found on cargo pants. This particular pair will be used for more casual days. The following pair is a nice steel grey cotton lycra polished cotton, that I may have purchased from Nancy Erickson's Fashion Sewing site. It's a very nice fabric and will make nicer pants for work. You can see the pattern front and the fabric in the second picture. Backs are on the machine with the darts installed.

The goal for the week is to finish the grey ones, do a black pair, and make another navy pair of slacks, and get started on the modifications to the cowl neck top. Don't know if that's doable with my work schedule, but that's the goal. This week is the last quilt class, so all we have left to do is bind them, and I will have more time after that's done too!

Navy pants, cargo type pockets, fly front.

Soon to be steel grey pants, inseam pockets, fly front.

Hope you're having fun with your sewing too. More later!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Still thinking

But I think I have it solved. I'm just going to sew the hem and facings together at the bottom and let it go. It will still be a good work jacket and I won't care if it gets ruined because I'll always know it's not perfect. And yes, Scarlett, I do have at least some amount of OCD and want everything I sew to be perfect. Even though I know perfection is an impossible goal, it gives me something to strive for.

With the Artisan's Square SWAP, this helps. I get to make the same garment a few times allowing me to perfect the fit and for me anyway, each time I make something, it gets a little better. I do need to remember with self drafted patterns to write the steps down in order so I don't get ahead of myself all the time though. :P}}

Last night was the second quilting class. No pics today. But we started sashing our blocks. Homework is to finish the sashing, which won't take more than a few hours. Next week we learn to "sandwich" our quilts and the quilting process. Fourth week is binding. I'm having fun and I really like the way it's turning out.

More later!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Frustration Reigns

Okay. You know when you decide you're going to alter a design slightly, but want to retain the original pattern, so you just make the changes directly to the fabric? Well, I do this frequently, and it usually works out just fine.

As you know, I've been working on my cardigan "muslin" for a while now. It was coming together quite nicely, and I was thinking it wasn't going to be a muslin, it was going to be a favorite piece in my wardrobe. I cut a piece of silk Charmeuse for the lining that I had purchased on sale, and wasn't thrilled with the colors when I got it. But it works quite nicely with the navy, and I was liking the jacket more and more.

I sewed the lining, put the facings on, and sewed it into the jacket, leaving the bottom 4" or so open so I could bag the lining. Get everything sewn, under-stitched, trimmed, and ready to go, then start pressing up hems. Lo and behold, my facing is too short???? What's going on?

I fiddled with this for a few hours yesterday trying to figure out what was going on and how in the world this happened. Checked the facing against the garment front pattern piece. Couldn't figure out why it was too short. Then the light bulb went on over my head! I had cut the garment pieces first and sewn them together because I wanted to get a move on with this. I'd added about an inch and a half to the bottom of the jacket because I wanted it a bit longer than the pattern. But when I cut the facings a week or so later, I forgot all about lengthening the pattern and cut them to the original length. So now I have facings about an inch and a half shorter than they should be!

I don't think I can save it, but I MAY try later today around my work time to piece some left over fabric at the bottom of the facing. I DO NOT want to remove all stitching and try to replace the facing with another piece. It may look a little funky on the inside if I piece it, but no one generally sees the inside facings of my jackets, so it will be a reminder to me in the future to cut everything at the same time, or else to make post it notes and apply to pieces waiting to be cut out.

On a really positive note, though, the jacket fits fantastic! I will be making this up in the "good stuff." And soon! My SWAP is in the works and on the move!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hopefully back on tract

Got a little busy around here, and then a big OOPS1 I have been dealing with a damaged right knee since August when I was unloading boxes from our move. I had a box in my hands, turned, obviously incorrectly, heard something pop, and went down. I've had multiple visits to Dr., Chiropractor, and Physical Therapists. Didn't seem to be getting any better, but was generally under control with multiple doses of Advil every day.
Then the unthinkable happened! I share my sewing space with my office since we downsized, and as every fabricoholic/sewing obsessed person knows, there is never enough storage anywhere! I had a stool along the side of my path between office and sewing area, and I had stupidly set a banker's box of patterns on top. My husband was nagging, and in frustration, I got up from my desk and headed out of the office... I caught my left foot on the stool. Tried to catch myself and my right knee gave out. I flailed around, tried to catch myself, hit the cutting table, which broke, and I went down hard.
I was lucky as I only have bruises and misplaced bones. No rib through a lung, no sewing shears through an eye, no broken bones, nor any other disasters that might have befallen someone in a well supplied sewing room. But the back is out badly, and I've had two visits to the chiropractor with more coming. I have some pretty spectacular colors going along my left bicep and my left breast where I hit the leg of the table and the screws that used to hold it together. I think it was the Universe telling me I needed to get with the program and try the light laser therapy I'd been hearing about on the right knee. I've had my first treatment of that, and am hopeful that will get my knee back to operating correctly! I'm not a good injured or sick person, and this has gone on way too long!
On the sewing front, the wearable muslin jacket has sat without forward momentum for a week or so. I have started putting the lining together and hope to have that at least to finishing stages before the weekend is over.
I also started a beginning quilting class. For someone who has made everything from bras and undies to suits, it's an embarassing admission that I have never made a quilt and didn't have the slightest idea how to proceed. Our first class was Wednesday, three more to go. We learned how to do the piecing, cutting, and sewing. I have two squares completed and two more to go before Wednesday night's second session. I'm loving it. I may have found another obsession!
Here's a picture of one of my quilt blocks. Hopefully the jacket picture will be forthcoming soon!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Just work today!

Well, we did take a nice walk with the dogs along the marsh today. It was beautiful out, and we started off the year right.
I worked from about noon on with just the break for the walk. Still not caught up, and I'm starting another busy week. It's good to have a job! :P}}
All of the outside pieces of the jacket are cut out but not marked yet. Still need to cut the facings. I have the charmeuse drying now for my lining and pockets~ forgot I wanted to add pockets to the jacket~ and I'm going to get busy putting pieces together.
Can't wait for my first "wearable muslin" for the SWAP. Then I just need to decide if that's going to be the grey or the navy when it gets made up. It started out to be the grey jacket and I think that's the way it will stay as this one is navy, so I don't need two of the same pattern in the same color even though the fabric is different.
Onward and upward!
And as always, more later!