Thursday, March 13, 2014

Paying it forward and moving on again.

My niece Juli came over last Saturday and we spent the afternoon working out her pattern. The draft worked very well and then we pushed forward with copying off the draft, adding the fly, pockets, and pocket pieces so she could sew together her first ever custom pair of denim trousers. Here's a picture of the draft:

You can see some of the fabric bins in the closet behind her. Oops. A little messy. :P}] She was thrilled with her draft and couldn't stop giggling. She's really excited to have pants that fit her, not only standing, but sitting also, without pulling or cutting into her body. And I do believe there is another convert to sewing custom clothing here. She came not only with the denim for the trousers, but another piece of cotton twill for pants, a rayon knit, and also a piece of woven with polka dots that she loved. She is doing a "sister's week" in August with all of my nieces (six of them!) and their sisters-in-law (2 more) at the beach, so she wants to have some cute new clothes to show off.
She'll be back on Sunday when we'll start with her first Pamela's perfect tee shirt, and if time will also will be doing a woven shell probably from the free download of the Polly top at By Hand London. I found the pattern from Rhonda's thrifty Thursday post, and think it's really a winner. For younger, svelte figures it will be really cute in the color blocking, and I want to make it up in a solid for me so as not to draw attention to my midsection. I've also sent her the link to the Sorbetto top, so she'll definitely have some options for her shells. We'll also make her a copy of the Margarita top pattern too, because that one IMO is the most versatile of all for knits.
Due to the previously mentioned sickness going around, I spent most of the rest of the weekend in bed. I appear to have a sinus infection going on, but I'm not positive of that. I like to let things go if possible because I think it's better to allow my body to cure itself than introducing drugs that cause other issues, but it may get to the point where I need to do something else. We'll see.
Because of the illness going on here, I missed my second Block of the Month club class. I did go by Monday after my inspection to pick up my instructions and fabric for the next block. This month it's two blocks instead of one. The first is this called "Chinese Coin" but different than I thought...
It appears we'll be using the same fabric for all of the blocks, so for right now picture this is the same colors as the last block I did. The second block is called Five Spot Block, and it looks like this:
Again it will be done in the original reds and whites. I've started the Chinese Coin, and have the first sets of blocks sewn together. I haven't pressed them yet or done the rows, so that may be done later today. We'll see how the day goes.
In other news, I've started on the cream silk jacket. I haven't done a tailored jacket in a while, so while foraging in my sewing room, I came across the Nancy Zieman video entitled Speed Tailoring Blazers. Then I realized I not only had the video, but also the written transcript with pictures of the same name. This is a circa 1980s video, so it is interesting to see the hair styles and big shoulder pads, etc., but there is some great information in it. I'll be using the methods from the video and transcript all the way through and anticipate a quick finish for this particular item. She mentions it is easy to speed tailor a blazer in a weekend. We'll see how that goes! LOL
Since my jacket pattern has been fitted and made more than a few times, there isn't much to tell as far as alterations. There are so many done that I can't even remember them all, but they have been noted in several previous posts. I do know it has narrower shoulders, wider arms, a sway back adjustment, a FBA, and I'm sure a few others I don't remember. (Last one posted 11/23/11)
I did follow the video instructions and made an "interfacing pattern" using waxed paper over the original and a seam gauge set at 1/2" to run along the outside of the pattern to get the interfacing the correct size so it only overlaps the seam allowance by 1/8". The entire front, side front, upper collar, pocket, upper back, and facings have been fused with Pro Tricot Deluxe from Fashion Sewing Supply. I still need to interface the hem lines, and then there will be a second layer of interfacing in several places. I'll keep you in the loop just in case you'd like to do your own speed tailored blazer.
That's all for now, but I'll try to keep up to date with my postings as I go through the blazer process. Hope your sewing is moving forward to!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

It's coming along and I'm passing it forward

Good day to you.

I hope you're getting lovely weather wherever in the world you may be. We are finally getting enough rain to hopefully ease the drought conditions here in Northern California, with a few days of sunshine interspersed so we can actually see spring and renewal in our future. I have daffodils, a few tulips, hyacinths, Asiatic lilies, and some mini iris coming up in the yard, and the roses are starting to sprout lots of leaves.

I haven't got a picture of Dale in his shirt yet, as he's gone down hard with a nasty cold and cough. He's spending the majority of his time sleeping trying to get rid of it. Hopefully soon.

I've been moving forward on my SWAP, but it seems to be taking a different direction. I have the grey tropical wool pants from the story board almost complete doing a few minutes here and a few minutes there. There are currently lying on the ironing board with the hems pressed and pinned. Hopefully tonight those will get done. Then I just have to do the waistband and they're good to go. I am not lining them, but will wear them with a pants slip instead.

Next up is going to be a a jacket in a cream colored silk tweed that I've had in my stash FOREVER! I think this goes back to around the time I quit being an outside sales person in 1996. I will use my TNT jacket pattern for this one that is a dramatically altered Simplicity 4273, now OOP. I'll probably add patch pockets, not the original slanted ones, but regular ones because I just NEED pockets! Like a little boy, I always have stuff in them. :P}}

The lining will be a silk charmeuse I bought on a great sale at Sawyer Brook in January 2012. Their description: Elegant silk charmeuse is printed with crosswise stripes seemingly over a large outline floral motif. Florals range from 7 to 9 inches. Mauve, almond, and gunmetal stripes over coffee and mocha outlines. For me, it's rather muted, but I do like it a lot and think it will be fantastic with the cream silk.

That will be moving into place with a matching grey tee and a pale blue silk broadcloth woven shirt from fabric that has also been in my stash for a very long time. That will together make up another capsule for my SWAP.

Looks like I won't make a full SWAP by the end of April, but I am getting garments done that will work in my wardrobe with lots of other pieces, and I'm using up some of my stash in addition to some of the new lovelies I couldn't resist!

I'm also working with my niece Julianne to make a custom pants draft, using the Don McCunn "How to Make Sewing Patterns" method. I have never had this draft not work if the measurements were correct. We have the first draft complete, and this week I'll be stitching up a muslin so she can try it on Saturday when she comes. At that time, we'll drape in the darts, and hopefully cut out her first ever pair of custom pants. She's doing a denim, of course, so I'll keep you posted.

Saturday is also my next 9 patch class. I'm getting lots of fun things fit into my schedule. I'll take the first block for show and tell, and then get the materials for the next one, which will need to be completed by the second week in April.

Need to get some work stuffed into the cracks around the sewing unfortunately, so I'll keep you posted as things come up.

Have a lovely day, whether it be coming into Spring or going into Autumn wherever you are.

More later!