Friday, September 30, 2016

Class samples – September 2016

Before September ends, it might be a good idea to post my class samples that have been hanging in the store since the beginning of the month.  We have limited space in the store for display, and since the quilters manage to take up all the wall space (wonder how that happens?), I try to make my stuff work as “outfits”, so that I can dress the mannequins.  No mean feat, because none of the mannequins are actually my size, and the clothing, generally, is destined for my closet.  I’ve also gotten bored with sewing plain old t-shirts and cardigans for the t-shirt and cardigan class, (we use Pamela’s patterns for these classes), yet when I make even the slightest change in design, people immediately think that I’ve used a totally different pattern.  Hopefully my solution to the problem will not stymie any would-be students.  I’ve gone ahead and made up the garments as I wanted to, then pinned on a list of changes that I’ve made to the pattern.  Without further ado …

For beginners, there are the ever-present pyjama pants in a bright print.  (They are for my daughter, therefore - her choice of fabric.)  And a garment bag - a chance to learn to sew in zippers, as well as l-o-n-g seams for practicing straight stitching.  I'm repeating the Minoru jacket from Sewaholic Patterns - I've added patch pockets here, as well as a change in the sleeves.  Classes on pants fitting, t-shirts and one I'm calling "Maxi skirt".  Here as an 8-gore skirt.  Originally I had two separate classes for skirts - one for a knit skirt with an elastic waist, and one for an 8-gore skirt.  Not too many interested people.  Then I lumped the two together, called them maxi skirts, and all of a sudden the classes got filled.  I guess it's all about the name.  People who claim never to wear skirts, apparently wear maxi skirts!  Go figure.
The sleeve on the cream t-shirt was widened a bit, finished with a cuff.  It's split down the centre and held together with shell buttons.
This t-shirt grew into a tunic.  I used the paisley fabric only on the front - the back and sleeves are black.  The lining on the Minoru jacket happens to be the leftovers from the prom dress.

This poor mannequin is on its last legs, so it's a bit of a challenge to get it to stand up straight, never mind have it display clothing well.  Nevertheless - a knit skirt, a t-shirt and a cardigan from Pamela's Twinset pattern.  (The little tag hanging on the ribbon lists the changes made to the pattern.)
For this cardigan I added an overlap, buttonholes and buttons.  The edges were bound in bias strips of cotton velveteen.  And then there's the applique...  The fabric is a "quilted" knit - it was just a remnant, so the sleeves ended up as 3/4.  My daughter came in just as I was finishing the cardi, picked up a little piece of the fabric and commented on the fact that the little squares looked just like squares of chocolate.   For some reason I decided to cut them apart, and for some reason these little "squares of chocolate" just ended up getting blanket-stitched to the front.  Looks OK?
Now I really do have to figure out my priorities for fall/winter sewing.  I've been dithering, which means that I've been sewing things that fall into no particular plan, other than the "I have the fabric and I want to try this pattern" plan.  There definitely has to be at least one winter coat before the really cold weather sets in, and I know that I do have to keep "staying warm" in the plans.  I'm already freezing, and the temperatures are no-where near frosty.  Of course, that might be more to do with "lack of personal insulation" (as my late husband used to call it), than actual outdoor temperatures.  So now I'm off to dig in the stash to see what can be used for warm and cozy clothing.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Sunday outfit

I know. I know.  It’s Monday, but at least I did have the picture taken yesterday – Sunday – and perhaps at some point I’ll improve to the point where I’m actually posting on Sunday too.
 Since May 1st I have been tracking what I wear of a Sunday.  (Sunday being the one day when I am guaranteed to “dress up”.)  My reasoning was to prove to myself that I have more than enough outfits in the “dressy” category for spring and summer. Periodically I would forget to write down the outfit, and two weeks later I would be racking my brain to remember what I wore.  Nevertheless, all Sundays were accounted for, and not a single item was repeated, which, of course, proves that I probably have more than enough in my closet – at least for Sundays and occasions that require some semblance of being “dressed up”.    This did, more or less, keep me on track with sewing plans and projects, and a goodly number of items sewn over the summer were of the more mundane every-day variety.  (Dressier items are sooo much more fun to plan and sew!)
As the weather changes, I thought that I should probably continue tracking, and perhaps this would continue keeping me in line with my sewing wish list.  And since a picture is much better at jogging my memory than my rather cryptic scribbles, we now have “Sunday outfit”. (I’m hoping that this will also help in catching up with items sewn, but not yet blogged.)  And since this is also supposed to be a blog post with minimum writing – without further ado …

Grey cardigan – base pattern Pamela’s Patterns Twinset – added pockets and collar – two-layered viscose knit – one side grey, one side black
Black t-shirt – Pamela’s Patterns Perfect T-shirt – scoop neck (some sort of lacy “novelty knit”)
Black knit midi pencil skirt – self-drafted – fairly hefty cotton/spandex knit

Friday, September 16, 2016

Summer sweaters

Summer seems to be over, and it’s definitely time to move on to autumn sewing, but I still have a lot of catching up to do on my blog posts.  Please bear with me, as I continue posting my summer stuff.    Sewing was fairly steady throughout the summer, even a little hectic when it came time to having my class samples ready for the beginning of September.  (But class samples at this time of year count as autumn, not summer.)  And as is the usual excuse – it’s the picture taking that let me down.

So…  The last few summers were fairly cool, and my first thoughts for summer sewing this year were lightweight sweaters.  (Little did I know…)  Back in May (possibly early June) I just happened to come across two summer knits while shopping “only for thread ” at Fabricland.  Of course they came home with me.  They did not even make it to the fabric cupboard – prewashed, cut and sewn in fairly short order.  As luck would have it, once summer actually got going, the weather was very hot and humid, and sweaters of any description were definitely not in the picture.  Now it’s cooler, and there has been occasion to don my new sweaters.  Had to wear them at least once before the real need for autumn clothing!

I dreamt up the need for a white knit duster.  This knit is 100% cotton.  Feels good.  Behaves badly.  Wrinkles terribly.  Sags.  Stretches out of shape.  Looks like a bathrobe??  I adlibbed from the New Twinset from Pamela’s Patterns.  Lengthened the pattern, added pockets and a band, widened the sleeves and added cuffs.  
Shown here with a tank t-shirt dress, also a Pamela’s Patterns hack – from the Perfect t-shirt pattern.  

One wear, and this cardigan/coat needed a wash.  (Might be the extravagant length, which swept the floor as I sat, the side of the car as I got in and out, etc.)  If I don’t wear this again between now and cooler weather, I just might rethink this creation next year, or … may-be I should just relegate it to “beach wear” and leave it be.  (Of course, that would actually require that I get myself to a beach.)

a little sheer - does require a cami
Next - the black and cream stripe – of undetermined content.  Whatever it is - it feels quite nice.  I wanted a loose comfy sweater, and I guess that’s what I got.   
could I be any less enthused?

Once again I used my old Butterick 5948 
copyright 1998! - can't believe it's still in the catalogue!
top pattern (which is actually for wovens), the bateau neckline is from Pamela’s Patterns additional necklines for t-shirts.  The sleeves grew cuffs.  

I don’t know if I’m happy with this one either, though I was comfortable enough wearing it for a whole day.  And on my bottom half – the latest jeans (I’m still tweaking the fit!).  Black cotton stretch fabric.  And I finally decided to narrow down the legs and move on to skinny jeans.  Can’t say I’d want to narrow the legs down any more than this.  The problem I have with really skinny pant legs, is that they seem to ride up and catch on my legs when, for example, I sit in the car.  Getting out of the car, I feel the need to bend over and pull down the pant legs.  Not very elegant!  Am I the only one with this problem??  Or may-be I need to make the legs so skinny that they clamp down on my lower leg and move not at all.
I’ll stop here for now.  More pictures later!