Thursday, February 20, 2014

Easy Enough for One Hand

Since my right hand is still useless, I thought I'd sew an easy pattern that I've made before. This sweater wrap, Silhouette 85, is my third version. The cut out part was slow. Fortunately, this medium weight sweater knit from Fabric Mart cut and sewed like a dream. I am reluctant to use a tripod for fear of dropping my camera. I even had a difficult time holding the camera and snapping a picture with one hand.

The edges are serged - couldn't face turning and top stitching. Since I finished this garment in January, I've only worked on muslins. There haven't been any cutting mishaps yet. I don't want the first mishap to be with good fabric. I have kept my commitment to no RTW purchases. Anyhow, jeans and a jacket are good to go once my right hand can cut again. Physical therapy starts in March. Yea!

This is a short post. This hunt and peck typing is annoying. Hopefully, I'll be sewing and blogging regularly soon.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Once Upon a Time in the Year 2014

an elderly woman(that's me)joined 262 sewists (at last count) in a journey to sew all their clothes. That means no store bought clothes except underwear, socks, and shoes from 1/1/14 until 12/31/14. The amazing Sarah of the blog Goodbyevalentino organized this journey.
I probably will sew my panties also, since I like the way mine fit so much better than RTW. This RTW fast is my only goal for 2014. As part of this goal, I will take pictures of every garment I sew and write a blog post before removing the garment from my sewing list. Crossing a garment off my list is almost as much fun as sewing. Expect to hear from me a lot more this year!

The work on my goal will be off to a slow start. I managed to trip over a trash can while cleaning up Christmas dinner and broke my right arm. That means no writing, driving, or knitting. I can sew and type although I'm slow. My left hand is getting a good workout! To add to my challenges, I upgraded my McAffee security progam which messed with my computer big time. I managed to fix most of the problems, but my picture file is floating around somewhere. I don't want to add any more pictures until I know I can find them. I'll either figure it out this weekend or have DH drive me to my favorite computer geek shop.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dawdle or Surge

My sewing and blogging is going at a dawdle pace. That pace is like my dog, Roxy, when I call her to come into the house. That's the pace where she swings her hips from side to side as she slowly moves one foot forward. She moves more to the side than forward as she looks up with big brown eyes that say, "Do I have to?". I'd like my sewing and blogging to be at a surge pace. That's the pace when Roxy sees her favorite neighbor. That dog can move faster than lightening. She's licking his hands before I can see where she is. I'd like my sewing to be going at the surge pace. Certainly, my mind is ticking at that pace with lots of ideas for Fall. Unfortunately, my sewing is dawdling. I got a few garments made in September, but feel like I moved more to the side (looking at lots of new ideas) than forward (actually sewing garments).

In September, I decided to celebrate National Sewing Month by exploring ways to improve my sewing skills. I reviewed a number of books, watched online webcasts, and watched DVDs in my stash. The highlight of this educational experience was the webcasts by Cynthia Guffey. She has webcasts on Seven Core Sewing Skills, How to Fit a Jacket, and How to Fit a Skirt. All three are excellent. I plan to use a lot of the information in the near future. The webcasts can be found on Daily Craft TV. The cost is only $9.99 each for unlimited viewing. The DVDs I watched were from Silhouette Patterns. The regular price is $29.99 each, but there often are special offers at a reduced price. The ones that I watched and will use this Fall/Winter are: Just Jeans, Leather is for Every Body, and Factory Tips & Techniques-2. Of course, I watched the Silhouette Webcasts as I do faithfully. They are full of helpful information and ideas. These are free and available through the Silhouette website.

I also spent a week at the beach in September. I got lots of wear and compliments from the 3 garments that I did manage to complete. Here they are:

This maxi dress is Silhouette 4000, a swing dress. I had to increase the size of the darts 3/4" to keep the dress from puffing out at the front like a maternity dress. Once I fixed that problem, I liked the fit. The back has a center back seam which gives the dress enough shape to keep it from looking like a tent. I took a picture of the back, but it looks exactly like the front. The seam doesn't show on a photo of this black dress. It is comfortable and casual enough for dinner at Florida restaurants.

This is the the maxi skirt that I wasn't sure that I would ever wear again. I thought it made me look too large. Apparently, that's not a big problem since I continue to receive positive comments. It certainly is comfortable and suitable for lots of evenings out.
My running/walking shorts got lots of use for walks on the beach. The water was beautiful to see and warm enough for swims and body surfing. I used Silhouette yoga pants pattern which I cut shorter.
I like this blouse which still needs hemming. It's made from Silhouette 475, modified to cut on the from fold. Also, I eliminated the collar. To me, the peplum is soft and not too obvious at my hips. There are only 2 problems. First, I can pull it over my head but that stresses the neckline, even with my small head. I know that I have to add an opening in the back or shoulder. Second, this looks like a Spring blouse. I'm ready to sew for Fall so this may get packed away in the UFO section. I do like this modified pattern and will make it again in several versions. In fact, I've altered the pattern by lowering the neckline an inch. I don't want to make that too tight neckline mistake again and have to add an opening.

 October is half over so I'd better get busy and, at least, pick up my dawdle pace. Happy sewing to you!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dare I Disagree with Kenneth D. King?

To celebrate National Sewing Month, I've been reviewing books and webcasts with dreams of improving my sewing skills. One of the books I read  is "Cool Couture" by Kenneth D. King. The "Bag of Tricks" included in the book are inspiring. His writing and pictures are clear and many if them WILL be included in my sewing in the near future. Also, he sounds like a really nice man who I'd like to meet. So, what's this disagreement? In the introduction, he states: "I believe it's better to spend a bit more time with a project and achieve something very special, rather than try to save time or money by sewing running shorts and T-shirts." I wonder where he buys his running shorts and T-shirts. Maybe, the selection is better in New York. Most of the ones I see locally and online are made of poor quality fabric, the construction is shameful, and the prices keep getting higher. Of course, the fit is a big issue for me. I live in running shorts and t-shirts. There are no occasions on my calendar that call for a ball gown. Something special for me is a pair of shorts that fit and feel comfortable. Also, my life gets hectic sometimes. I just want to chill in my sewing room with easy sewing. Yes, I love a sewing challenge as those simple things get boring at times. That's the reason that I opened KK's book. Since, I do sew my running and exercise shorts. I'll share the last pair that I made.

I used Silhouette 3400 and shortened the pattern to the length that I wanted. This pair is a little longer than usual, just below the knee. The fabric is a medium weight cotton jersey purchased from Silhouette Patterns. The fabric is so luxuiant (that means a special luxury). I could sleep in these. I especially like the fit. There is no chafing even when I wear them biking. No, KK, I didn't take shortcuts. They are fast to make, but the shorts are exactly what I wanted.

I hope that all of your sewing is exactly what you want. Happy Sewing!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Carolyn's One Hour Skirt

I was looking for a simple pattern to sew for an event. When I saw Carolyn's maxi skirt, I decided to try it. After all, it looked terrific and seemed to be quick and easy. I had the perfect fabric that I purchased from Gorgeous Fabric a while ago. The fabric was easy to sew and worked well for this simple sew. After all, I just had to cut the fabric to length, sew one side seam, add a walking slit, and put elastic at the waist. One hour later, the skirt was finished. I loved it! The top is Silhouette 195 that I made this Spring. I got lots of compliments when I wore this outfit...many more than I ever remember. Then, I saw the pictures. OMG, I look huge. Maybe, I looked thinner when I was in motion. (I rarely stay still.) Maybe, I looked really bad in the past. (I hope not.) Actually, I debated about even posting the pictures. After two weeks of thought, I decided I would. First of all, I want a record of my sewing joys and mishaps. Secondly, we are all learning. That learning only occurs if everyone shares without restricting posts to those wonderfully photographed garments.
This fabric is 60" wide and is just too big for me. There are too many gathers. I may spend another hour and remove some of the width or maybe not. I'll see. The back view was a big surprise to me. It looks like I need a major sway back adjustment. This pattern is a TNT. I never had a problem before so I think those skirt gathers are pushing the top up. After trying the top on without the skirt, I will add a small sway back adjustment. It never showed in the other tops and dresses that I made from this pattern but it does in this light weight jersey.
I have a few other garments to photograph and post. I like them all - sure hope the pictures don't show any surprises! Mainly, I'm trying to step up my sewing skills. After all, it is National Sewing Month. After sewing simple for a while, I'm having fun trying new approaches. Happy Sewing!!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cleaning Up My Blog Site

I've started working on cleaning up my blog site. The First thing that I want to do is to add a "Follow Me on Bloglovin" Button. Apparently, I need to claim my blog and post a link before I can do that. So..Here's my request to follow me on BloglovinFollow my blog with Bloglovin">. Hope that this works!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Definition of Sewing Insanity

Why would anyone make a man's tailored dress shirt from cotton gauze? Well, I made that happen and learned about sewing insanity. I wanted to make Silhouette 6012, George's shirt. DH was delighted and liked the pattern. So, I had a good quality cotton sitting on my sewing table. While I was excited about the challenge, I started questioning my ability to actually make this shirt. My mistake #1 was saying my concern out loud. I told my sweetie that if the shirt didn't turn out, he could wear it to work in the garden. His response was he would love a shirt to wear working in the yard. He decided he wanted his shirt in a that light weight crinkly fabric so that it would be cool. My mistake #2 was going to the Mood website and ordering this nice, cool cotton gauze. When it arrived, I loved the soft gauze and thought that it would make a wonderful summer sweater set. DH loved the fabric also and thought that it would be perfect for a summer garden shirt. Mistake #3 was not hearing the words "garden shirt" and continued with my plans for a tailored shirt. The fun began on the cutting table. Cutting little pieces from those lumps in the fabric was just plain crazy to do. Mistake #4 was my own stubborn attitude. I cut and sewed the entire shirt. At the point of the collar, I fully realized my insanity. If anyone can get a nice point on a collar from cotton gauze, I'm opened to suggestions. I doubt that I'll ever try it again!! Anyhow, here's the shirt with the guy wearing it. He's standing in front of his herb garden.
Silhouette 6012

During the "photo shoot", he said that the shirt was too nice to wear in the garden, but he will. That was a wonderful compliment but I wish that I had made the shirt in that nice cotton. Geez, I would have missed all that insanity fun. I do like this pattern and believe that it will make a great shirt in the proper fabric. The only sewing mishap was in the cut-out. I've never made a sleeve placket and cut out the sewing lines. That was one stupid thing to do. Fortunately, I had enough fabric to cut new sleeves (goodbye tank top for me). I followed Peggy Sager's "The Silhouette Man" DVD and actually enjoyed the process of making the shirt. I measured the chest of a shirt that fit DH and used that size without adjustments. I do need to make the shoulders about 1" shorter which should take care of the winkling in the top of the sleeve. The sleeves also need to be about 1" shorter. I left off the top button since he won't be wearing a tie with it (LOL). Also, he wanted the second button left off, but changed his mind after trying on the final product. I may fix that or maybe not. I know that the front placket is not very straight. That is a fabric problem and doesn't show unless someone like me is really looking at it. I will make this shirt again, but not right away. I'd like to make it in a cotton. If I use gauze again, there will definitely be some changes - only a collar stand, no fancy front placket, and roll up sleeves. For the immediate future, I'll be sewing for me!! I've made a number of garments-just have to get pictures.