Sunday, January 30, 2011

SWAP 2011 - Week 5 of 17

The Kwik Sew 3494 skirt is completed.  This week I finished the grosgrain waistband.  The bottom edge of the band was sewn down with a back stitch.  I was surprised to find how easy the grosgrain ribbon was to sew through.  I really thought it was going to be difficult.  I made one machine made button hole on the inside tab of the skirt and applied a sew-on hook and eye closure for a lapped waistband.  I used an invisible catch stitch on the hem.

The fashion fabric for this skirt is a tan/black tencel. 

The fabric allows the back flares to drape nicely.

The contrasting black china silk hong kong seam finishes, black grosgrain waistband, and black invisible zipper compliment the fabric on the inside.

This has already been worn and laundered. 

I am already changing my original SWAP plan.  Instead of using Simplicty 6703 for a knit lace top, I am replacing it with this Vogue pattern.

It's the end of the month, and I've only completed one full garment.  I thought this would go together really quickly, but not so.  The instructions have you sew the shoulders together on the lining and the fashion fabric separately.  The beginning of the problem.  I am using a knit lace fabric and a contrasting knit lining.  The seam allowances are sandwiched between the two; therefore, the seam allowances are visible through the lace.  This is not a good thing.  This same problem will happen at the neck edge and the armhole edges.   So here it sits, so I can think this through.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

MPB Shirt Sew Along

My DH is very supportive of my sewing passion.  He was an airplane mechanic during his early years in the Air Force and learned how to repair (sew using a flat felled seam) a cloth plane wing.  He actually took a sewing class two years ago on tie making, made a tie, and received lots of compliments on it .  Last year he traded up an old Brother's sewing machine he purchased at a yard sale for a Bernina.  This spring we were going to each make a shirt with me teaching him the process.  I recently discovered that Peter was having a shirt sew-along, and I encouraged my DH to join.   I checked off the list of suggested sewing tools and added a few of my own.

In May, 2010, while honeymooning  in NYC , we purchased a few pieces of shirting fabric to prepare for our shirtmaking sessions;

The two pieces on the left would make a fine two-toned shirt.  While sewing a shirt for my DS, I purchased while muslin for interfacing and later purchased white fusible interfacing.  Of course, I have loads of shirt buttons. 

The only new purchase is the Nigroni shirt pattern from Colette, which I took care of today; but that isn't a firm pattern decision from my husband.  He would like to make more of a dress shirt, so he probably won't use it.  However, I may in the future.  Watch his progress on MPB Men's Shirt Sew Along under Pago_3 and I will also be posting his progress here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

SWAP 2011 - Week 4 of 17

I started this week off by meeting up with the talented Summerset and her children.  We had conversations about various things along with sewing.  Summerset wore her lovely faux fur jacket, which she had just completed.  We finished our visit by stopping at Fabric Fix in Manchester, NH, where she helped convince me to purchase this rayon/silk burnout velvet for a possible piece for my SWAP.   There is no blue in the piece.  It is just black and gold.  Good choice, Summerset!

I also purchased ten yards of black grosgrain ribbon @ 50 cents a yard for waistband usage.

This week I tweaked the fit on the Kwik Sew skirt by taking some of the curve from the side seams and finished binding those seams.  Another new technique was a waistband backed with grosgrain ribbon.  I followed the instructions from Roberto Cabrera/Patricia Flaherty Meyers' book, "Classic Tailoring Techniques, A Construction Guide For Women's Wear" and a favorite of mine by Claire B Shaeffer, "Couture Sewing".   Here is the result before I tack down the edges, back stitch the bottom edge of the ribbon, and apply a closure.

This makes for a very sturdy waistband, and I plan on doing this more in the future.  There is quite a curve to the bottom of the skirt back.  I had to pre-gather the hem before binding the hem edge.

To reduce bulk in the hem caused by the seam binding, I graded each seam.

The hem is partially sewn using a blind catch stitch.

I am classifying this project as the project on its way out.  I enjoyed doing all the new techniques; however, they were time consuming.  My sewing goal is to more couture oriented.  A time constraint contest may not be the ideal time to do so many in one item, but it sure is making for a nice looking skirt. 

The Burda slacks is still the official project.  I've put it aside for awhile, but it's time to pick it back up and get it done.

I have a few items classified as the projects coming in.  I've been working muslins for:

     the Kwik Sew red jacquard silk blouse, and
     the McCalls silk charmeuse blouses in black and gold.

The Kwik Sew blouse is really ready to be cut.  I have a few adjustments to re-check for the charmeuse blouses.  Since I'm using the same pattern, I get two for one.  There is only about one week left in the month, and I haven't completed one whole garment yet.  I've been preparing for a work audit, which will happen tomorrow, after which I hope to step it up. 

As an aside, my toddler grandson is going to Colorado with my DD to visit his grandfather and uncle.  My DD and I went shopping for some things for him to take on the trip.  I couldn't resist these Toy Story cowboy boots,

and I have been laughing about them ever since.  My DS is just going to think they are the greatest, since he wears cowboy boots all the time.    Aren't these the cutest?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

SWAP 2011 - Week 3 of 17

The beginning of the week started with me re-cutting the Burda slack back pattern, re-cutting the top of the slacks, re-doing darts, and re-stitching the strip. 

By the end of week, the Kwik Sew skirt joined the Burda slacks as another official project. 

Both now need:

                  final tweeking of the fit,
                  seam finishing,

Still a lot to be accomplished.

One new technique used this week on the Burda skirt was making hong kong finished seams.  I used china silk.  It was tedious having to cut bias strips, then sewing the bias strips a quarter inch away from each seam edge, folding the bias back over the seam, tucking it behind each seam, edge stitching each one, and trimming the back side.  Each seam ended with five passes of stitching, but I like the look, and the way the seams hang on the front side.

Another new technique was inserting my first ever invisible zipper.  I've been putting this off successfully for years even though I wanted to learn how to do it.  I am a visual learner and really wanted someone to show me how.  I watched some on-line videos and researched the process.  I even discovered that I owned the correct foot to do this.  I practiced with a basting stitch on a piece of muslin. It took me a couple of tries to get the hang of it.  Proudly, it's done, and I plan on inserting another on the Kwik Sew blouse.    

Sunday, January 09, 2011

SWAP 2011 - Week 2 of 17

I've mentioned before that I don't make one item at a time, but a few together.  It usualy ends up with one project on the way in (working muslin, fitting, cutting), one project on the way out (buttons, hemming), and one official project (the major sewing of conponents). 

This week I cut two muslins, one for the Burda slacks and one for the Kwik Sew skirt.  I sewed both muslins, analyzed fitting issues, and tweeked the patterns.

At the end of this week, the Kwik Sew skirt is the project coming in.  It's ready to be cut.

The Burda Slacks is the official project.  It's cut, and I couldn't wait to sew these up.  I sewed the back darts, sewed the back to the side strip, and pressed.  I installed the zipper by following these directions  This is the new technique on this item along with including a fly shield, which the directions didn't include.  It is a very simple, folded rectangle out of silk taffet a.  I  also finished the fly seams with a hong kong finish as a practice. 
The pattern has hip pockets.  I don't usually like hip pockets, but since the pockets are set a little forward, I decided to include them this time.  Why don't I like hip pockets?  My hips don't need more padding; and when I put stuff in there, the "bumps" are unattractive.  However, I will admit that pockets are handy. 

As I attemped to sew the front to the side strip, I noticed something seriously wrong.  I made the side back adjustment too long.  Luckily, too long, not too short.  I ended today by tweeking the pattern again, removing the side strip from the back, picking the threads from the seams, and pressing them flat. 

Sunday, January 02, 2011

SWAP 2011 - Week 1 of 17

I've been sick all week trying to get through work everyday.  I
     received my china silk lining, silk organza interfacing, and
          silk chiffon order from Vogue Fabrics;

     shopped for thread, zippers, sewing needles, embroidery
          floss, and buttons at Jo-Anns;

     traced Burda slacks, Kwik Sew 3494 - blouse and skirt;

     made fitting adjustments on the major pattern pieces for
          McCall's blouse 7888 and the Burda slacks.