Saturday, September 25, 2010

My One and Only

grandson turned one today.  This is an amazing picture of him waving to us before he was even born.

His rocketship room was a group effort to pull together.  We think with great success. 

One year ago he was such a delicate, beautiful person with so many people happy to see him arrive safe and sound.

What a lot of changes since last year.  Happy Birthday to you! 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sewing Room Art

I have three favorite pieces of sewing related artwork on the walls of my sewing studio.

This one is an antique print purchased in 2003 in Breckenridge, Colorado entitled The Butterfly and The Bee.

"The Butterfly and the Bee", by William Lisle Bowles (1762-1850)

Methought I heard a butterfly
Say to a laboring bee:
"Thou hast no colours of the sky
On painted wings like me."

"Poor child of vanity! those dyes,
And colours bright are rare,"
With mild reproof, the bee replies,
"Are all beneath my care.

Content I toil from morn to eve,
And scorning idleness,
To tribes of gaudy sloth I leave
The vanity of dress."

This one was purchased in 2000 at the Booth Mill, in Lowell, Massachusetts. If you peek in the windows of each floor, you will be able to see the carding, spinning, and weaving processes. Fabric made here was shipped all over the world. You learn about these mills in the fourth grade. Visiting one leaves a lasting impression. The mills played a serious roll during the industrial revolution, and women entered the work force.

This final one, crewel embroidery, was handmade by me about 25 years ago. I enjoyed making it, but never made another picture.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blue Striped Man's Shirt ~ sleeve insertion; side seams; hem.

I finally had a stretch of time to sew today. My challenge was inserting a man's shirt sleeve into the actual shirt using a flat-felled seam. I decided not to use my new flat-felled foot. I reseached this process, and sometimes people adjust seam allowances. I cut out this shirt before the research. Therefore, I wasn't able to make any seam adjustments, so I just used the usual 5/8" seam allowance.

I proceeded by inserting the sleeves in the usual way. That is, right sides together shirring the sleeve and easing the cap into the sleeve, pucker-free, before sewing the side seams of the shirt or the sleeve. This was easy, since there really wasn't much ease to deal with.
The flat-felled process is:
~ pressing the seam towards the sleeve
~ trimmed the bottom seam allowance in half
~ folding the top seam allowance in half
~ enclosing the half seam into the whole seam allowance
~ top stitching on the right side.
The real look of the flat-felled seam is on the inside.

Next I worked the side seams. It's the same process as above except I sewed the side seams wrong sides together. The flat-felled seam is right side out.

This is how it usually looks.

Before stopping for the day, I wanted to hem the shirt. When making a narrow hem, I sew two rows of basting stitches 1/4 inch apart. I press the fabric on the first basting line, then I press again on the second basting line, then pin. Using my edging foot, I sewed the hem.

A decorative touch is adding my DS's name on the bottom of the front band.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

This morning I posted on Artisans Square Stitchers Guild this finalized picture of my wedding dress worn on May 8, 2010.

Pattern: McCalls 4292 designed by Claire McCardell, an American designer.

Fabric: Beige/ivory/gold silk dupioni purchased from Delectable Mountain Cloth, Brattleboro, VT.

Underlining: Beige silk organza purchased on-line from Fashion Fabric Club.

Lining: Beige china silk purchased on-line from Fashion Fabric Club.

I made this sewing process more difficult than the pattern required. The dress is really simple and unlined. I decided to not only line the dress, but to underline it also. When sewing darts with an underlining, I mark the dart and the center line. The center is pinned, sewn with a basting stitch, folded on the basting line, then sewn in the usual way. This assures that the fabrics will not slip away from each other.

I hand stitched each seam open by attaching the seam to the underlining only using a whip stitch.

The dolman sleeves needed to be reinforced on the outside. I used my favorite foot, the edger.

The ties had wide seams. I baste stitched on the fold lines, pressed each fold, hand stitched using a blind stitch.