Thursday, January 18, 2018

First garment for teal grouping

I'm definitely trying to keep up with my blogging for 2018 because I love having a record in one place of all the garments I've sewn throughout the year. At my age, I do forget sometimes when something was made, and it helps to be able to go back through past posts and files to determine when I did what.

Also because my weight has a tendency to fluctuate quite a bit, it's nice to be able to determine the date so I can kind of get a clue about the size it is and I was when it was made. :-)

This tee was begun on January 5, and morphed a bit from the initial thoughts to the final garment. As usual, I used Pamela's Perfect Tee shirt, which I use almost exclusively. I had intended to do a long or 3/4 sleeve on this one, but after looking at the fabric and thinking about my wardrobe needs, the climate in this area, and the short winter versus the long warm days, I went ahead and did the short sleeves. It only took about one yard, so I have enough fabric left for a tank top.

As I think I said in a prior post, I had intended to do a teal grouping back in 2013-2014, and this fabric was purchased for that group in November 2013. I was all gung ho to get the grouping going ] before other things got my attention. It's from Mood and it's a wonderful rayon jersey that sews like a dream, drapes beautifully, and has a gorgeous soft hand that almost feels like silk.

With a lot of family drama, and an interim for a bout of the flu that left me in bed for days and days, it wasn't completed until January 14. I can picture this in rotation for years to come. I just love the look and the feel of the fabric.

Perhaps because of the background, the fabric color appears different IRL. The photo is the last post is quite close to the actual colors. 

This week, I've started a pair of denim slacks out of a teal blue that will be my first bottom in this group. I started pattern work on them on January 14 as soon as this was complete. I am using the same Burda pattern I used for my shorts and instead of using the long pants in the pattern, I did some research on the width of pant legs, and the consensus was that straight leg pants have an 18" to 19" width at the hem, full pants have a 22" width at the hem, and the boot cut should be about 20". Somewhere in my research, I found something that equated the width of the hems to the crotch width, but when I went back to find it as I was starting the drafting, I couldn't find it again, so following directions in one of my pattern drafting books,  I started at knee length on the shorts, and went for a boot cut by adding 3/4" to each inseam and outer seam at the hem, tapering to the knee. 

I have relatively chunky thighs and don't want them too tight through that area, so this procedure should work well. I finished the redraft on the 15th, and finished cutting them out yesterday, but have not yet begun sewing. I do have about a yard of fabric left, so should be able to get a skirt out of that. 

The fabric is an end of the bolt cut from Fashion Fabrics Club, that was purchased along with some french terry and other denims back in September, so for me, it's a fairly new fabric. I was able to get a 3 1/4  yard piece for only $15.25, and it's a nice heavy denim with a bit of stretch. I'm sure it will also get a great deal of wear! Here's a teaser swatch of the new fabric:

In this photo, the color appears to be fairly close to real life. I'm excited to get these pants made up and into rotation. 

More later!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Quick Swimsuit Coverup

This is a quick sew that I put together as a swimsuit cover up. I needed something a bit warmer for the winter, as our pool, in general, is open year around and I need those Aqua Aerobics classes to keep on my feet, and to help with weight loss and muscle tone.

Due to other obligations, It was started on 12/28/17 with the idea of having it done that day. Hah! I finished it New Year's Day.

I used my TNT Pamela's Perfect Tee pattern, and just extended from the waist down to about ankle length. I had intended to leave slits a couple inches long in the bottom hem area, but forgot to do so, as it was truly sewn under the old Nancy Zieman 10-20-30 minutes to sew, so it is one long column. .

The fabric was purchased from via Amazon on November 9, 2017. A really new fabric! LOL. It's a 50% polyester, 50% cotton French terry. This particular garment is okay with the polyester content as I only wear it about an hour in total.

I had thought to do a vertical piece down the front, but got lazy and did the whole thing horizontal. I wish I'd done the vertical piece now. That much horizontal stripes across a fairly significant torso isn't that attractive. Oh, well. Now I know. I had purchased 3 yards with the thought of the vertical, and now have right at a yard left over. It could make a tank top for summer. We'll see. I'm debating going back in and doing some sort of a gore from about bust height down to the floor to give more walking room and add the vertical interest.

One note to self. Match stripes below the darts so the majority of the garment is matched. I matched at the armpit on this. It won't be noticeable to most folks, but sure is to me. At least the stripes are fairly narrow. 😄

I've started on a core grouping out of teal. I intended to do this core back in the fall of 2013, but it's been sitting idle while I went on to other groupings. Sew Ruthie has given me a push as I see all her lovely garments in the teal grouping she's doing. I do have multiple fabrics and will be making several garments. First up is a tee from a gorgeous rayon knit purchased from Mood many moons ago. It's been aging nicely, and is a dream to sew. Here's a teaser look at the fabric.

My second grouping will be browns and tans, so this is perfect. I can see it getting a lot of use! Since I decided to go with a short sleeve, I'll have enough left over to make a tank top also. Hooray!

This one is also being sewn in 10-20-30 minute increments, so it will probably be a few more days before it's done. I'm going to try to post all my sews this year so I can remember what was done when and hopefully keep on track with cores so there aren't any orphans in my closet and I have a varied and beautiful wardrobe.

More later!

Friday, January 5, 2018

My Final Christmas Gift

I have a wonderful sewing friend that lives in Eugene, Oregon. We met in the fall of 2013 when we both attended a Sure Fit Designs workshop. Afterwards, we began to communicate a bit by email, and for a very long time now, we communicate daily. Although we are very different people in very many ways, we are very similar in many ways too.

The last couple of years, she has made me a gift from the heart and the sewing room. Last year was the microwave soup bowl cozies that I liked so much I made them for all my peeps this year. See last post. :-) 👧 This year she made me the most amazing bag out of recycled jeans. It's phenomenal. So of course I wanted to make her something special also.

In October Rhonda Buss had a hand sewing caddy on her blog. Since my friend loves to hand sew, I thought it would be the perfect gift for her. I did want to find sewing related fabrics though. So I searched and came up with three fabrics I thought were appropriate and I did enlarge the caddy. Rhonda's was on a 5" X 7" stand, and I went for the larger size 8 1/2 X 11 stand, so I did have to do the math to enlarge the pattern, but it was minimal. Without further ado:

Here it is on my sewing table before I sent it. She's made very nice comments and it appears that it was a big hit. 

Then it was off to selfish sewing and time to get moving on my 2018 projects. More later!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Some Christmas Sewing

I made the ubiquitous microwave soup caddies for our kids and grands, and a couple extra for relatives that showed up and a couple of "White Elephant" gift exchanges:

I used cotton quilting fabrics, Quilter's Dream batting, and Aurifil thread. I made an effort to match the fabric pattern to the person. I.E. our son-in-law who is a scuba diver got a fabric with little scuba divers, fish and bubbles all over it. A granddaughter who does cognitive science research (PHD program) got some little bots with lots of math equations. One granddaughter who is an artist got a Picasso-esque fabric. A granddaughter and her partner who are heavy into music got musical instruments, etc
These were made from the free pattern on They are quick and easy, and once I got them figured out, I found the actual sewing to be about 30 minutes per pair. I can see them being a great seller for craft booths and local fairs with vendors. 

Then I made another "fish pillow" for my brother. This was just an 18" square pillow form, with the fabric cut at 19 1/4", a zipper added, and 5/8" seam allowances. I love the fabric, find it cheery and it makes me smile every time I look at it. As a minister, he's not only a fisherman, but a "Fisher of Men," so it seems to me to be appropriate. 

And along with a horrendous cold, some cooking, a bit of reading, and some cleaning, that was my November-December.

Now to move forward with one more late Christmas present for my BFF, and then to selfish sewing once again. I'm hoping for 36 garments made in the upcoming year.

I had thought to do the Artisan's Square Sewing Guild SWAP, but I'm just going to go at my own pace, making the garments that fit my lifestyle and my needs. It may turn out to be a mini-SWAP, or a maxi-SWAP, or just a cool bunch of clothes that are badly needed.

First up will be a new French Terry cover up for my continuing Aqua Aerobics classes. During the winter a little extra fabric is needed. Then on to January and my three pieces in teal.

Hope you are all getting revved up for a wonderful New Year full of joy and surprises!

More Later,

Monday, December 25, 2017

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all the joys of the Holiday Season!
Merry Christmas.
Happy Hanukkah.
Happy Kwanzaa.
A blessed Solstice.
Buenos Las Posadas.
And a joyous festival of lights for the rest of you.

I'm sending you sincere desires for a wonderful New Year filled with hope, joy, love, and expectations.

Although I've been neglectful of the blog for the last year, I hope to improve on that situation in the coming months! Thank you for being my virtual friends!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Catch up time

I've been sewing for the summer, but life has gotten a little hectic around here. Just a quick catch up post with some items I've made since the last post at the end of May.

First off was a pair of Burda 6613 shorts out of a suit weight natural linen. I was in a hurry because I wanted to take these with me to San Diego for a Granddaughter's graduation from UCSD and I knew the weather would be perfect for dress up shorts. Since I've used Burda patterns forever, I didn't make a muslin, just made them using my measurements.

DUH,.. I didn't think about the fact I've been doing Aqua Aerobics for months and my body has tightened up a lot. Put them on the morning of the graduation, and they slid down to my hips making me look like those youths with the falling off pants. SIGH. Took them off and tried again. First pair:
I thought about taking them apart and re-cutting them, but it was more trouble than to remake them from scratch. The pattern is beautiful with the inner pocket that goes across the front, a nice fly front, and all the rest of the top stitching and so forth.

I did a "wearable muslin" from a wild and crazy patterned indigo and white stretch cotton. I did carefully match the pattern on the pockets, but went stupid and didn't even think about the side seams until they were completed. Oh, well. The wild pattern is just carried a bit farther.

These had multiple alterations, finally I think taking in a total of 6" around the waist and dropping the back crotch seam by a fairly large amount IMO. But now they fit well and are in regular rotation. Then because I didn't have a sleeveless top to go with them, I did a navy tank. I did use my TNT tank pattern and removed about 2" from each side by the time I was done altering it.I very much like the fit now. 

Once the navy tank was done, I quickly made two more pair of the shorts out of linen from JoAnne Fabrics. Not great quality, but they'll do for the rest of the summer. 

In and around the clothing, my brother moved here from Southern California. He's disabled, and I've done A LOT of running around getting things set up for him, getting him a home, furniture, etc. And as a Welcome Home gift, I made him a throw pillow.
He's a fisherman, and I saw a similar pillow on a website and knew he'd love it. So I sketched out the fish, pulled a piece of canvas from stash, a colorful remnant with shells on it in "sea" colors, and made the pillow with the fish on front. I don't do applique as a rule, and anyone who is talented at applique would probably not be impressed, but my brother loved it, and has it in a place of honor in "his chair." 

This week I'm making him another fish pillow, (he would rather fish than almost anything) for his birthday on Saturday. He's 18 months younger than I am, and we've always been close. With the advent of his move here, we talk and see each other most days. He's going to be thrilled. The last one, he just kept saying, "No one has ever made me a pillow before." Now he can't say that, but I know he's going to love the new one. Luckily I have enough of the canvas remnant for a semi-matching pillow. 

Once the pillow is done, I'm moving forward with a few more tanks. I have the fabrics washed and ready to go, and perhaps I'll make a couple of pair of denim shorts. They'll be quite useful for days when I'm working around the house. My sleeveless shirt TNT pattern somehow got way too big, and I've started altering the ones I have that I'd like to keep moving forward. A few have been donated, but some are worth keeping because I love the fabrics.

So all in all, a relatively productive few months. I had thought to start making fall and winter items in August, but with the temps still in the 90s, I can't bring myself to start sewing heavier fabrics. I'd like to get back to knitting too, but the thought of sweaters and hats makes me start to sweat. So I'll wait a few weeks before I start thinking about such items.

Hope you are all enjoying your summer and sewing a lot! More later,

Thursday, May 25, 2017

It's summer here now!

In Las Cruces, New Mexico summer has arrived. Our ten day forecast shows six days with highs in the 90's and four with highs in the 84 to 88 degree range. Our night time lows are all in the 60's. We may even get a bit of rain on the "colder" days, so that would be nice and refresh things a bit.

Dale had gone to Santa Rosa, California for the last week to visit the kids and watch our granddaughter graduate from Sonoma State University. She graduated with honors, and he got a nice visit with both his daughters and their families, and even got to have dinner with my daughter one evening. On his return, he had a layover in Phoenix, where the temperature was 108 degrees at 4 p.m. He was glad to get back to our 90 degree temperatures. It was 94 when I picked him up at the El Paso airport at 9:00 last night!

I'm quite pleased to report the serger is back and in use once again. I had a few things cut out that are finished now.

I used my TNT pattern, and made up a quick royal blue tank top. Nothing out of the ordinary other than the fact I used cross grain for the neck binding, and the armhole bindings, and turned and stitched them. I may have to redo it with bias. It seems to me to not be quite tight enough on the neck band, and after a quick washing and drying I'm going to reevaluate and perhaps take the straight grain off and add some bias. We'll see how that works.


Once the tank was done, I did two quick pair of pajama bottoms out of cotton flannel. Both pieces were from JoAnn Fabrics a while back. The floral was several years ago, and the teal was purchased in 2016. Neither is good quality fabric, but they will be useful in my wardrobe. I don't post pictures of things like this to bore you, but because this blog is actually my sewing record of things I've made throughout the years.

I am using these as a kind of "muslin." They are from the Style Arc Barb pattern, shortened to about an inch of so below my knees. The pattern is designed for knits, and these are both wovens, but with the weight loss, they fit fine in the woven. I had decided to do a quick and dirty muslin to enable a few pair of quick elastic waist shorts to wear around home in the heat. It was a big success in my book. The only changes I'll have to make is to add pockets, since I'm not sure I can be awake and not have pockets! As Barbara from the Sewing on the Edge blog mentioned a while back, my main accessory is poop bags in my pockets! LOL

I've been cleaning rather frantically because like a lot of sewers, that is lower on the list than sewing most days, and I have a granddaughter coming to stay for the first week of June. I'm very excited to see her, and we should have some nice photos of things to share. But, I do have to clean, as she'll be staying in the "guest room" aka the sewing room, and there really does need to be enough room for her bed!

The next outfit will be a pair of "desert color" stripped shorts, and a sleeveless, collarless, button down shirt using my TNT pattern I've made several from before. Those shirts are getting a lot of wear in this weather!

Hoping you are all enjoying your sewing, and making lots of gorgeous or at least useful things!

More later,