Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thank-you Rosy!

Thank-you Rosy!  To-day I received some sunshine in the mail - in a yellow envelope, no less.  In it were the lovely things that I won over at Rosy's blog.  That really put a smile on my face - just what I needed after dealing with yet more snowdrifts in the driveway yesterday and to-day.  Rosy - you also helped me to make the decision on what to wear to a wedding that I'm going to at the end of the month.  That hair bow is just the perfect accessory for one outfit that I was contemplating.  Thank-you so very, very much!
I never thought that I would come to this, but I am so sick of sewing knits!  I've been making up the samples for classes, as I mentioned.  While I was at it, I thought that it would be a good idea to try out the various necklines that come in the package for neckline options.  Who knows which neckline a student will pick, and, well, I have to be ready.  And while we're at it - who knows what sorts of fabric those students will choose, so let's try different fabrics, to see if there are any problems that could be averted.  Get the picture?  So now I have various t-shirts in various stages of construction.  Only three were actually finished and taken to the store to hang up for open house tomorrow.  The rest are languishing as UFO's for the time being, and I promise not to let them languish for too, too long, but I really do need a break from monotonous sewing.
Here, then are the pieces that went to the store.  Pictures were snapped in a hurry on my way out the door.  Turns out, that the best place for indoor picture-taking is in the living room, with the big window.  Unfortunately, it is also one of the rooms that at present is in a rather shabby state, awaiting a paint job in the, hopefully, not-too-distant future.  So - please ignore the strange line above the baseboard - that's what happens when you rip out carpeting and the baseboards sink a bit, as well as other odd things that I didn't manage to crop out of the pictures.
Granted, on a hanger a t-shirt dress really doesn't look like much.  I promise to model the next dress that gets finished, with belt and all the trimmings.  It's the scoop neckline, and I flared the skirt a bit, though in the pattern, the instructions for elongating t-shirt into dress, make for a straight skirt.  For this one I used a cotton/poly knit - at least one of the samples, I thought should be out of fabric that Joyce sells at the store.  It's a dark walnut.  Rather boring, to tell the truth, so I added some embroidery in a very dark olive, which doesn't even show up in the picture above.  (So much for my attempt at beautifying!)
I put three of these motifs on the front and one on the back near the hem.  Far from perfect.  The bobbin thread showed through in a few spots, but ... it's done.  I was at the store embroidering on one of the fancy machines yesterday.  It took more time to pick off the stabilizer than to do the embroidery.  (Oh, I do want one of those lovely machines!)
This is the boat-neck option (though I do prefer calling it a bateau-neck - sounds so much more elegant).  It's a rather fine sweater knit.  Rather a pain to sew, just because the skin on my fingers has become so rough, and I kept snagging on the fabric.  No real damage done.  Hmm - I do have a piece of fake suede in dark red that should become a skirt to wear with this.
Last, but not least - my wild side - with a funnel neck.
The patterns used were: Pamela's Patterns #104 The Perfect T-shirt and #107 New Necklines and sleeves for the Perfect T-shirt.  Sorry, Pamela I guess I don't have a "REAL" figure, because I had to do quite a lot of tweaking to get this pattern to fit me.  It was just way too big, even in the x-small.  I do love all the neckline options.  And now that I've fiddled and fiddled - I have a master pattern for t-shirts that I can just pop down on fabric, cut and sew.  I'm sure that most people won't have this problem, because most people, it seems, come in slightly larger sizes than I do.  Oh - the pattern has a shaped hem, which I left on for the funnel-neck, but which I straightened for the bateau.
Bonus!  While contemplating what to do with all the scraps of knits and corduroy that were accumulating in the sewing room.  Too small to make anything.  Too large to just toss in the garbage.  Got a brilliant idea.  If all this stuff manages to attract all the dog hair in the vicinity while I'm sewing it, perhaps it will work for floor sweeping.  I cut a piece to fit the Swiffer sweeper, popped it on and - lo and behold doggy hair and other assorted dirt on the floor got gathered up beautifully.  Now I've cut a stack of pieces (9 X 12 inches, in case you're interested), and the scraps can be useful before they head into the garbage.  With lots of hardwood, sweeping up is a constant chore.  (Does this qualify as reusing or reducing?)
What will I make next?  So many choices...  Guess I'll have to just make a decision and stick to it.


  1. Wow Irene, you have been busy! All 3 are lovely, I particularly like the dress and look forward to seeing you model it.

  2. Great basics! I really like the shape of the t-shirt dress.

  3. I really like the walnut dress and the embroidery. I am with you, I'd love to have an embroidery machine some day. Good thinking with your scraps. All of the houses we rented the first few years here had no carpet. Wouldn't you know the house we ended up buying has carpet in every room. So much vacuuming! I love hardwood floors. Much easier to clean.

  4. Ooh, you have made some great tops.. I especially love the reddy/purple bateau neck.
    And fantastic idea for using up those scraps! Our house is all hard floors, no carpets whatsoever... so thank you for the inspiration!

  5. First, thanks for your kind words, I'm happy to make you happy, lol.
    I can not believe how it spreads your time, I love all these shirts and you still have time to meet students, wow, share secret to stretch the time please!
    The idea of using all those scraps of fabric is great, I'll implement it!

  6. These will be so inspiring to your students. I'm especially taken with the embroidery since a tone on tone look always gets my attention.

  7. Lovely garments and really like the animal print top.

  8. Your students are going to be so inspired by your dress and tops. I have purchased many patterns and so much fabric because of lovely sample garments in classes or Sewing Expo fashion shows. I like the animal print top the best. What a clever idea for using scraps. The ladies in my sewing group collect scraps and use them to stuff dog and cat beds we give to the local animal shelters. The scraps go to a good cause. I don't feeling guilty about not using them, and it gets them out of my sewing room.