Friday, January 31, 2014

Adding to the Sewing Library and UFO completion

I purchased “Patternmaking For Menswear” by Gareth Kershaw this month.

I bought it specifically to see if I could draft something for my son.  The book contains a few patterns of interest – Henley shirt, hooded sweatshirt, sweatpants, shorts, jean jacket, and a single-breasted jacket.  There are other interesting items that I think I can adapt to the wanted style.  Of course, this book is just for drafting.  There is no information for fitting or sewing instruction.  But one book can’t really provide all the information.  Fitting is really only accomplished via experience. 

My son is tall and very thin which makes it very hard to find clothes.  I measured him recently to see what size shirt he wears.  It was a 14 with 36 sleeves.  That isn’t exactly a common size to locate.  I did find some 14 ½ x 35/36 online.  SML sizing just doesn’t work well due to length.  I know I can’t be the only one in the situation.  I would love to hear where you’re locating clothes.  Oh, yeah, pants are 30x36 which I can’t find anywhere.  I told him to wear a belt and bought 32x36.  I hate that he is in the situation where everything is so completely oversized.  I have purchased a couple of patterns from Silhouettes for him.  A shirt pattern which is too big but Peggy explained how to reduce the size and a jean pattern. I have yet to get the courage to try anything.  I also wonder if he will have the patience for me to fit anything.  My goal for spring is a couple of shirts with the close fit the young guys seem to like that are long enough to stay tucked in.   

I did a little bit of sewing last night.  I finished one UFO and cut out the lining for the brown wool skirt.  Maybe I will finish it tonight.  Here's the UFO:

Can you tell I'm thinking of spring? Actually, I started these last spring and got all the pressing for the hems completed and never finished the hems.  Now, they are all done and ready for spring.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Knitting and more knitting...

Yes, I knit occasionally and this month's project turned out to be going to a knitting group.  It was so much fun.  It turns out the group meets monthly on Saturdays and weekly on Mondays at one of the local libraries.  Even though I have been knitting since the 6th grade where I was taught all kinds of bad habits that I have never been able to shake, I still consider myself a beginner.  So, with that in mind I stopped at local Michael's and picked a skein of worsted weight yarn.  The one I choice was Vanna's Choice by Lion Brand in Denim Mist.  As "beginners", they had us practicing the knit stitch and I made a scarf with 2 skeins of the Denim Mist:

I love the color and it is much appreciated in the very cold weather that we are having.  This is just 25 stitches.  One of the ladies at the meeting gave me a pattern for a dishcloth.  It was very easy and knit on the diagonal.  Again, it was just a knit stitch practice with an added yarn over. So a little more interesting knitting.  Here's my results:

This was knitted using the Sugar'n Cream Twists.  I love the color of this yarn.  It was simply called Green Twists.  I didn't care for how this turned out.  It could be an issue of practice but I don't like how the starting and ending corners look.  However, the pattern resulted in a nice size dishcloth that is about 8 1/2".  Maybe I need to investigate different types of casting on/off to see if the results would be better.  Let's just say that I'm not done with the knitting yet.  I have purchased a Sashey Sparkle from JoAnn's.  Here's the color:

This will make a ruffled scarf.  Again, this is just straight knitting.  I have attempted to start this scarf but pulled it out because I wasn't sure that I was knitting it correctly.  There is a video on the Red Heart site that provides information about knitting with this yarn.

I downloaded a sweater pattern from Ravelry.  I know jumping from a scarf to a sweater is a big leap but I wanted to try something a little more challenging.  Now, I need to figure out the difference between worsted weight and DK weight.  I know I have this information somewhere as I have a rather large library of knitting information. Maybe I'm try a hat or mittens instead of the sweater.

Now you know why I haven't been doing much in the way of sewing.  Part of it is that with the weather we are having it is very hard to get my sewing area heated up.  If it was a smaller room, it might not be an issue.  It really is easier to sit by the fireplace and knit.

I did do a few things sewing related.  Mostly mending but I cut out the brown wool skirt and need to work on the lining.  The lining is a little tough as I have to figure out the pattern.  I worked on the UFO dress.  I was trying a new technique that is more RTW.  This is edge stitching the collar to the dress.  I had the collar very neatly pressed where both edges were the same length.  The neck edge had been stitched at 5/8" mark and trimmed to about the 3/8".  I very carefully inserted both ends into the collar and started inserting the neck edge of the dress.  Unfortunately, the neck edge is longer the stand on the collar.  ARGH!  The dress has become a wadder.  However, I will be salvaging the fabric.  I love this fabric.  Hopefully, I can create a skirt from the remains.  I was so disappointed.  I have no idea if there was a problem with the pattern or if I had stretched the neck edge.  I didn't prove this pattern before I started.  Lesson learned.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

I haven't been sewing but...

..I have been adding to the fabric/pattern stash.  What can I say?  I know I was wanting to decrease the stash but something things just happen.  I still have lots of time to work on the decrease, right?  Ok, here's what I've been up.  I purchased a RTW vest with front in-seam pockets, zip up the front, and a stand-up collar.  LOVE this vest but the fabric is horrible.  It is a fleece that sheds everything I put it on.  So, I went on a search to find a similar vest pattern and found it:

Oh, yes, View B is exactly what I was looking for.  However not wanting to pay full price, I wanted patiently for someone to have a sale.

I also fell in love with the dress on Pinterest:

Doesn't it look like a nice comfy summery dress?   I did have to search for the pattern number and finally found it S1652.  I suspect that this will be a bit of trial and error on my part because it is an Amazing Fit pattern and I don't usually have great luck with them.  Trial and error will come from the stash and then I will find a great looking fabric to wear. The pattern sale was found at Pattern Review.
Then, I saw this top from Sew Liberated:

I just had to have it.  I think it will be a nice summery top also.  It has two variations.  I hope it works out.

I went to JoAnn's to pick up some lining fabric for the brown wool skirt that I have been wanting to make and  I did find a wonderful sweater knit:

 It is more of a fuchsia color than the purple that is showing but it will go with the gray wool skirt that I made last month.  The only thing is I don't know what pattern will work with this type of fabric.  I think it should be rather simple to let the fabric do the speaking but I have never sewn a sweater knit before.  Maybe I will use a simple t-shirt pattern.  Any suggestions?

Well, the sewing room has warmed up enough to sew.  I'm hoping to get either a UFO completed or start the brown wool skirt.  Maybe I'll get lucky and do both.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sewing Schedule...

I posted the items that I wanted to complete in the month of January and I don't think that I will make it.  Why?  I haven't sewn anything yet this month.  The cold weather kept me out of the sewing area.  There just wasn't any way to get it warm enough to be comfortable.  I know that was only 3 or 4 days total.  Things that I have been doing:

1.  Reading the Threads magazine that arrived:

There is an excellent article on Tucks in this issue.  There is a video at Threads - How to Sew and Press Tucks. It doesn't contain as much information as the article but it is a good start.

2.  I received a Certificate of Graduation from Superior Threads:

How cool is that?  I didn't realize that I would get a certificate when I decided to take part in the Superior University.  I do enjoy this sort of education.  Any one know of any other classes of this kind?

3.  I also received the first season of Fit 2 Stitch since the local PBS station doesn't appear to be carry the new sewing show by Peggy Sagers.  So far, I have watched 3 of the 13 shows.  Those shows are Bodice & Darts, Skirts for all Ages, and Sleeves.  There is some really good information in these three shows.  Since I'm planning on making another skirt this month, I'm going to re-watch the Skirts for all Ages show and apply that information to the next skirt.  Skirts are my favorite item to make.

Well, that is the only sewing related items that have kept me busy.  Work and just life has kept me busy, too.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! and Projects from December 2013

Happy New Year!  Can you believe it is 2014?

Sewing was an accomplishment in December and frankly, I was surprised at how much was accomplished. Here’s the list:

 First up is an OOP McCall’s 3343 skirt VB –

I made it in light grey wool and lined it with a light gray lining.  The skirt pattern doesn’t have a lining with it.  The pattern was very easy to create a lining using the existing pattern pieces. 

The fabric and the lining were from my huge stash.  I did have to convince myself that I didn’t need to continue saving it.  If I lose weight, I will make more.  This is a big plus in my book as the stash in now down about 3 yards. 

Second project was the Round Folded Star Hot Pad pattern by Plum Easy. Here it is:

Here’s my version:

This was the craft project for the month.  A friend and I get together once a month and do something.  This was a nice project.  We both had everything cut out and ready to go.  Start to finish was 2 ½ to 3 hours.  I’m ready to make more for seasonal decoration in the kitchen.  This was also a stash project.  It didn’t reduce the stash by much.  Maybe  2 or 3 fat quarters.

Third project was the Easy Striped Table Runner pattern by Quilt Company P:

Here’s my version:

This was fun to make even if it took me a little while to get to it after I cut it out. I quilted it with perle cotton using big stitches.  This technique really needs a thimble.

Fourth project was a new cover for a butterfly chair where I used the existing cover as the pattern:

My son picked the colors.  Yes, it had to be Steeler colors and it had to have the stripe.  I was a little bit worried that the machine I had at work would not have the umph to make it through all the layers of canvas but it wasn’t a problem.

I also finished a crotchet project before Christmas. Here it is:

I found this project in “Crochet One-Skein Wonders” by Judith Durant & Edie Eckman.  Yarn was Patons Lace Sequins in Crystal.  Love the yarn that I used.

I do have four projects planned to January. The first will be another skirt from the same OOP McCall’s pattern but a view D with the double pleated front.   I’m also thinking that I want to change the waist area from a facing to a binding.  I need to locate the instructions for doing that. The second will be completing a dress I started last year and then promptly lost the collar which put it on hold.  Not much left to do.  The third project will be another one of the butterfly chair covers.  It will be a matching one to the one above and shouldn’t take too long to do since I have everything figured out how to do now. The fourth will be a cover for a step stool. I guess there is a fifth item and that will be the monthly craft/sewing project. This has not been decided on yet.

Happy Stitching!