Thursday, December 15, 2011

Quick Sewing Updates

I really like making Q&E panties. Using my KS-2075 panty pattern, I've whipped up a few more pairs using knit fabric remnants in my stash. (Yes, if you look through my slide you'll see garments made from the same fabric lol!) Yes, a few alterations have been made to the pattern like fiddling with the crotch seams by moving the crotch piece forward (shortening the front piece/lengthening the back) and widening the lower back piece for my 40ish bum. The result? A great fitting pair of panties that provides good rear coverage, higher-cut leg openings, and a waistband that sits at the high hip as opposed to the waist. Here they are:

These Rita's Ice panties were made for DD#2 from her old work shirt that was stained. The t-shirt seaming made exact placement impossible, but I thought they were pretty cute. She has yet to wear them, but I told her they're going to be stolen away if she doesn't get use out of them.

I've been using black and white, plush/picot edge lingerie elastic from Sew Sassy -- . Great stuff, easy to use.

I used my Babylock serger's elastic foot to apply the elastic. There is NO MEASURING/NO QUARTERING when using this foot. It is "Da Bomb"!!! One of the better inventions since the wheel. Simply adjust the screw on the foot to the desired stretch of elastic. It does take a few samples, but it works fabulous. Even if you can't adjust the screw at exactly the same place every time you make a pair, a minor change doesn't matter. I've experimented with different tension placed on the elastic via the screw for different pairs and they all fit great.

All cotton crotch linings are used from old 100% cotton t-shirts. Some are old ones in my drawers, or I look for the Hanes sales for mens' cotton tees in those 3-pack bags.

Movin' on. I'm working on a quick holiday dress using McCall's 2401. It's been sitting unused in my stash F O R E V E R. Did the alterations and am now stitching it up. It's about 2/3's done. I shopped my stash and was looking at the the 3 fabrics on the left for the dress:

The blue won out! Here it is from a few days ago as I was cutting out. More pics soon of the finished garment.
Hope you all have some time during the busy holiday season to accomplish some sewing!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Got Bit!

It's like somebody gave me a sewing shot. Or I definitely got bit by the sewing bug on Saturday night. I've been having a case of the Christmas grumps, then on Saturday night perhaps I figured out why. How long has it been since I've whipped up a garment for myself? Far too long. Oodles of panties don't count.

I pulled out a basic McCall's sheath dress pattern yesterday and went to work with pattern alterations and whipped up a muslin. It's good to go. In a few minutes I'm going to shop the stash for fabric. There are definitely a few possibilities. All are fabrics from PR Weekends from a few years ago. Let's see what I come up with.

My guess is I'll whip up two quickie dresses. One might be a sexy, short black lace number with a nude stretch lining, and the other will be knee-length as shown on the pattern. Figure if I spent a few hours with pattern alterations, the pattern has to get used twice right away.

Let's see what I come up with in a few days. And it's cold here all right! Here is one of my cozy sidekicks that knows how to stay warm on a very cold, December morning. The same guy that sleeps in a cozy blanket near my head at night, and wakes me with warm breathing and kitten kisses to let me know he wants to snuggle under the covers in the morning!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Traditions

It's too bad it doesn't include sewing.

Yesterday I made pies all day.

3 Blueberry Pies (giving two to my mother)
1 Pumpkin Pie
1 Pumpkin Cheesecake
1 Caramel Apple Cheesecake
1 Chocolate Cream Pie

Also made the cake part of the pumpkin roll.

Today I'm making one more pie, an apple one, as well as the filling for the pumpkin roll and assembling it. Will also make apple crisp as a favor to my husband.

Tomorrow morning we celebrate our annual family tradition of eating Thanksgiving desserts at 10:30 a.m. while watching the NYC Macy's Day parade. I started this tradition about 11 years ago because we'd always be too full after the big dinner to enjoy our desserts, and now it's something my kids look forward to with gusto! You should see them lining up at the kitchen table at 10:15 in anticipation. They eagerly help out with table setup, plates, knives, and forks. And you know what the positive thing about this tradition is? Mid-morning desserts holds us over nicely until dinner around 2 or 3 p.m. Of course, we can always have seconds on desserts around 8 or 9 p.m. lol.

There is one tradition, however, I don't know if we'll be able to make during the Christmas season. Black Friday is the day we decorate our Christmas tree. In fact, I just brought the tree up last night and put it in our living room. Problem is, our kitten is still a kitten. 7 mos old to be exact and is highly active and highly curious. While big brother, Jake, loves to climb up the middle of the tree, little Riley gets great satisfaction out of playing with all things little like ponytail holders, security rings from milk jugs, running off with earrings, etc. This year I'm not sure if we're going to be able to put up any Christmas decorations. I worry about him having too much fun with the ornaments and playing with hooks. Forget the garland this year--it's out of the questions. We might just have to go with tree, lights, bows, and angel. And what if Jake teaches Riley bad habits of climbing up the middle of the tree??? Please, I'm not going there right now lol.

Here are very recent pics of our two boys sleeping together. I love how their arms are wrapped around each other :) . At the bottom is our little (but growing a lot) baby sitting on my youngest's lap.

Devon Rex and Sphynx cats are truly the dogs of the cat world. Our Sphynx even more so than our Devon though. They are truly wonderful, loving, curious animals, and I could blubber on about them all day long. Anyway...

Have a safe, wonderful, and happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It was NOT "Operator Error!"

Ever since I've taken my Babylock serger out of the box, I've had this feeling that I've been missing a guide or not threading it right. My stitches looked good, but I thought they could look better.

Today I had my "How-to-use-your-machine" serger class, and the instructor noted my samples were slightly different than everyone else's. She thought it was a tension issue. The owner was kind enough to test my machine and concluded it did have an issue. He took it right back to their top-notch service guy and...It was off by one whole turn! Which, according to the owner, is a lot. Boy am I ever glad I took the class today. My schedule is very busy, and I was thinking about waiting until December.

So, no. I'm not missing any thread guides. It wasn't "operator error." It was an issue with the adjustments done at the factory. Maybe tonight I can finish two more pairs of panties that are half done.

I have to edit this post. I will admit, rather embarrassingly, that I had an on/off problem with seams coming out differently. I'd sew a seam, and it was fine. Next seam would be all wonky. Today I figured out why. I was forgetting to put my presser foot down! Can you believe it? Rarely do I lift my presser foot up on the serger, but working with the different feet I was lifting the lever up and down a lot. The foot on the serger looks like it's all the way down, but it wasn't. It's not like a sewing machine where you can easily tell if the foot is up or down. On my Babylock, it looks like it's down all the time. So there you go. There WAS an operator error. I forgot about that. Probably because it's a silly, embarrassing mistake for an experienced sewer.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Panty Party

I was itching to make some panties yesterday because I HAD to use my serger elastic foot! I cut two out of some Jumbo Spandex I had in my stash, likely purchased from either Spandex House or Spandex World. Don't know where my stretch lace came from, but the plush elastic was from Sew Sassy. Here they are:

As for the cotton crotch lining, do you know what I do for that? I take an old, 100% cotton, white t-shirt, find some nice areas, and cut the crotch lining from it. It would be great to stock up on colorful, 100% cotton t-shirts from ACMoore, but my preference is a white crotch lining due to dyes. I know, I know, black would look so much better, but you just don't see that when they're on.

I love them! They're a great fit, although the green/black ones are more like Spanx lol. I cut the pattern pieces on the crosswise grain, not the lengthwise--operator error. I wasn't paying attention and was trying to watch Harry Potter while cutting out the two pairs. Also, Jumbo Spandex is not my preference for panty fabric. It runs on the thick side, but when there is so much in the stash and you want to whip up panties using an elastic foot, you just use it.

Speaking of which, the elastic foot is WONDERFUL!!! No more measuring for a 3/4 ratio of elastic length. The elastic is fed into the foot, insert the fabric underneath, and start stitching! It stretches the elastic for a snug fit. I used a flat construction method to avoid stitching in the round because I was using the serger. Panty construction takes about 1/3 the time than what it would with a conventional machine, and most of the time savings is due to that awesome elastic foot.

I can only imagine how wonderful it would be on a bra. I think the green/black panties need a matching bra, don't you think?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cheap Friday Night Thrills

How to make me happy? Give me some feet to play with it. 2 serger feet to be exact. Tonight was a cozy night in playing with my Elastic and Ruffler feet.

Let me tell you something about that Ruffler foot. What I would have given to have had this foot when my girls were toddlers! It would have made short work out of insanely cute, tiered skirts or simple ruffled layers on tops. It would have been wonderful to forget about gathering one layer, pin basting two fabric pieces, baste the seam on the machine to check things out, then do the final stitch. Really, just place the two pieces of fabric in/under the foot? How much easier can it get?!?! This foot is amazing. Here are my rough, unpressed samples:

If you have a BL Imagine and have little girls or grandaughters, this foot is a must.

On to my Elastic foot. I have a lot of swimsuit fabric from one I made last year. So this past spring I decided to use up some of that extra to make panties. The only thing that takes long to do on panties is stitching the elastic in, in the round on a conventional machine. That is why I was lusting after this foot. The Palmer/Pletsch book, Sewing with Sergers, has nice little examples of how to make quick work out of various apparel items using a serger. It includes step-by-step (common sense) instructions on panty construction order. I have a panty UFO sitting in my sewing cart begging for the elastic foot to be used so how perfect is that? Initially I was waiting to order some white picot-edge elastic to finish them, dawdled and kept putting off ordering the elastic; however, I just ordered some last night. Guess the Elastic foot sent me over the edge.

Anyway, I did numerous samples with swimsuit fabric and 1/2" elastic. Not exactly the recommended elastic width, but who cares. I wasn't about to waste the good stuff doing sample after sample. I use the 3/8" "good" stuff for the leg and waist opening. Here are my samples with the various screw adjustments for tightening the elastic fit.

So that's where I am with my serger feet. At approximately $22.50/foot, I'd say that is a cheap, Friday night thrill. I can't wait until my finishing elastic arrives so I can finish up my UFO panties. And no panties fit like my panties. It's a TNT pattern in a perfect fit. BTW, those panties are in the same blue/brown floral print shown above.

It's going to be wonderful to crank out 5-7 panties in a day with my new elastic foot. Bye bye quartering and stitching in the round. I'm NOT going to miss you!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Good Things Come in Small Packages!

My feet arrived yesterday! A brand new set of Babylock Imagine serger feet. See, see, see!!!

Here's the bummer for today. DD#2 has to go on a college visit so there probably won't be any time to play with them. I'm so sad about that. To get my sewing "fix", I'll just have to settle for staring at the box.

Bye Bye, UFOs!

I loathe unfinished sewing projects. They languish for months, sometimes years, just waiting to be finished. When there are so many more interesting things to do and sew, it just prolongs to project almost to neverending UFO status. However, I am happy to report that two UFOs have achieved finished status: a kitchen table cloth that was begging for a rolled edge (yes, at least I can honestly say I was waiting for my new serger and followed through with that one) and my niece's baby quilt that I started in November of 2010. She was born in October of 2010 so it really is an embarrassingly late gift. Here are pics of the front and back of the quilt. There are a couple of reasons why it was so late, the latter one blaming the Internet of which I'll explain below.
Two days ago I picked up my great niece's baby quilt. One that I started last November. We knew it was going to be a girl so I picked up some nice baby quilt fabric on sale at Hot pink cotton flannel and a super soft tie-dye Minky. When those arrived, I took a trip to my local quilting shop to look at their cottons and found a nice yellow one to match the two fabrics. Then I spent another 4 weeks mulling over designs at For a while my embroidery machine was smokin', I stitched the designs and quilting fabric together for the front of the quilt, then I stopped. Why? Because I read something on the Internet lol. (That really is the truth!) Maybe I was at PR, but talk turned to quilt backing and someone was thinking about using a knit. Of course, I was using a knit, too, as the backing for my quilt. A few quilters chimed in about how it was a bad idea to use knit fabric as a backing. So what happened? It kind of stopped me dead in my tracks. Doubts creeped in. Maybe using Minky wasn't such a good idea. After all, I'm no quilter. Truthfully, I don't like to quilt, have never really done quilting other than a few specialty projects, and don't sew traditional quilts with fat quarters or anything like that. So that's when the quilt began to languish in my sewing cart.

For many months I thought about the backing. Maybe I could do this, maybe do that, then two days ago I just got fed up. Perhaps I simply got mad that the quilt was taking up so much space in my cart, but I said to myself, "I don't care what people use for their backing. I don't care about quilting naysayers that say knit fabrics shouldn't be used for the backing. I'm going to do it my way, and it's going to turn out great!

""Internet Paralysis" be damned.

So I did it MY way. And you know what? It turned out perfect. The quilt front is made out of quilting cotton and flannel, the back is super soft Minky, and two layers of quilt batting are sandwiched between both. I was going to make my own binding but decided to buy Wrights binding instead to save me some time and finish the project.

This project is one of those kind of lessons for me. Think of what I would do pre-Internet. And that would be just about anything. No one to ever say, "You shouldn't do it that way...That is not recommended...(blah, blah, blah...)" So there you go! I put in my virtual ear plugs, did it my way, and it turned out great!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Happy and Bummed.

It was a GREAT day! I was very happy to spend time making some winter hats for my oldest daughter's sorority Thanksgiving dinner. The service project component is a "Mitten Tree" with the families attending bringing a food item for the dinner and a winter accessory for the tree.

So far I made two hats and a scarf. I'm hoping to make a pair of mittens tomorrow because it is, after all, called a "Mitten Tree", right?

And do you know what I used??? Yes! My new Babylock Imagine!!! It made quick work out of the hats. Well, it would have been quicker if I remembered to leave a long serger strand down the braid portions of the braid hat. It was on my mind to do it to turn the tubes quickly but I forgot. And let me tell you, it takes forever to turn a fleece tube with my fingers. I have this one Dritz gadget for turning tubes but it never works well for me. Someday the Fastturn Tube Turner set will be mine! The fleece used was 100 weight from Wazoodle. I don't know who the manufacturer is, but I love that fleece. So soft, anti-pill, and it looks great wash after wash.

I had my three machines out too--My Janome sewing and coverstitch machines, in addition to the Imagine. What a trio. It would have been a nice touch to embroider the hats but they have to be generic.

It would have been great to make a new dress with my serger for the dinner, but there is simply no time. Looking forward to squeezing in some play time during the next week.

Ohhh...I'm getting so excited to play with the accessory feet soon. I've been watching the Imagine DVD and those extra feet are amazing. It's just so quick to do on the serger. More later, I'm out of time. That's the bummer to my post. There's never enough time to play. :(

Monday, October 31, 2011

Help Wanted! Flatlocking on BL Imagine.

(I posted this on PR but am going to link back to my blog because of errors when trying to link from Photobucket to PR.)

I just got my new Babylock Imagine and have playing with it the past two days. All the stitches were beautiful except for the 2-thread Flatlock, both seaming and decorative. I'm using white serger thread in the needle and Decorator 6 and Wooly Nylon thread in the looper.

Although I will try the flatlock again with serger thread in both the needle and looper. If it looks good, then I'm thinking some adjusting might need to be done with the screw. I thought I ask for tips and tricks first, however, before doing that from Imagine owners.

Here are pics of what it looks like. The top is the purple wooly nylon, the bottom green is Decorator 6. The ladder stitches on the needle side are beautiful, but the opposite side is not. The needle thread is being pulled too much to the other side.

Any tips for using decorative thread in the BL Imagine serger would be greatly appreciated!

***ETA*** I will hang my head low in shame. I found out in my how-to-use-your-new-machine BL class that I was forgetting to put my foot down, no pun intended. This is a no-brainer, of course, but on my BL I couldn't tell that the foot was up like a sewing machine. The foot appears so close either way. I usually don't raise the foot on a serger, but was doing so a lot because of the thickness of my fabrics, then I was forgetting to put it down lol. How dumb is that?!?! Anyway...this has solved my stitch problem.

Another issue the instructor noticed that my stitches were "off". They weren't like everyone else's in the class. She had the super tech at the store check it out before I left and it was off by a whole turn which is quite a lot according to the owner. Yes, it was a brand new machine right from the box, so someone wasn't paying attention at the factory.

Everything is good now :) .

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Imagine That!!!

Yes! "Imagine" that!!!

It happened. My baby came home with me last night. It took 18 mos of payments, but she is now here. (Put a napkin under your chin right now...) She sure is droolworthy:

Told ya so :) . Finish wiping the drool off your chin and I'll tell you my little issue. I started taking her out of the box today and there doesn't appear to be a cover! Maybe it is under the machine??? I don't know. But if there is no cover, shame on BL. For a top-of-the-line home serger, it should include at least a cheapo plastic cover, don't you think? I know, I know. With my new baby I can whip one up fast but... Even my Janome Embroidery machine which cost almost as much came with a sturdy plastic cover. Ditto with my Janome Coverstitch. Oh well. I ended up putting it back in the box because leaving it out without a cover is an invitation to my 2 highly curious cats. Play with me not. I really wanted to take it out for 10 minutes to stare at it, then put a cover on it for playtime later.

Darn, I had to put it back in the box. I'd really like to work tomorrow, but I really don't want to work tomorrow if you KWIM. No work means time for my Imagine!

More updates later. I'm still staring at the Imagine box sitting under my kitchen table. Proud to be its owner :) . Proud to have it home! My "family" is pretty much complete: Janome Memory Craft sewing machine, Janome CP1000 Coverstitch, Janome 300E Embroidery, Babylock Imagine serger, and a vintage Kenmore 185 series mechanical sewing machine as my backup. What more could a girl want? Well, a professional, heavy-duty dedicated buttonhole machine might be nice!

Pictures for Ginger

The nice thing about PR are the reviews and pics. The bad thing about PR is that lots of members (including myself) have broken links due to various things like changing service providers.

Note: Most of these tops are old. Now I wear my tees snug or close-fitting. It's simply a more flattering look. Each photo is a Pamela Tee or Pamela Tank. Some have undergone major design changes like the dress. I still wear those on hot summer days. The plain grey was a muslin I created in the former Shannon Gifford's Build a Better Tee class.

The New Blogger Interface

Has anyone tried it yet? I hated it and switched back. 'Nuff said about it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The One-Hour, "That's so cute" Top

A one-shoulder top. I've been wanting one for about 14 mos. now. Last summer I bought Simplicity 2364 and was itching to make it. Problem was, I didn't. Then DD#1 comes home from school in May and says she wants a one-shoulder top with a flounce. I showed her S2364 and she didn't seem that impressed. Until last night. I whipped up this one in one-hour, never even reading the directions. It was immensely helpful to me that Simplicity included the 6-14 size range in one envelope for this pattern!

Here are two front views:

DD#1's response: "That's kind of cute." Translation: She likes it. She wants me to make her something like it. But she says it without much emotion because she knows if I see her excited about it, I'll ask her if she would like to sew one up for herself lol. What I would give to have at least one daughter interested in sewing!

Here is a back view. (I need a reminder to make some Jalie capris from my jeans pattern. I loathe back views with RTW bottoms!) :

The fabric...well I couldn't remember! I made another summer top from this fabric a couple of years ago and had to look up my PR review. The fabric was purchased from Metro Textiles in NYC during PR Weekend 2007.

I can't really comment on the directions for this pattern because the top is pretty straightforward, and I didn't read them at all. However, I did look at the pattern guidesheet pics so I'll tell you, actually show you, what I think is really bizarre about this pattern.

First, this is the normal part. You're looking at the basting stitches for gathering the front and back shoulder seams. You stitch the gathered shoulder seams with a stabilized strip of whatever, then the side seams. Okay. Fine and dandy.

Now here is the bizarre part! What the heck is a facing that long doing on a shirt like this!?!?

Yes, that is the facing! And look at the size of that facing!! I think that piece actually goes right to the full bust or at least quite close to it. Do you know what that means? Very likely you will get a tell-tale facing line. Not only that, that's a double layer of fabric that goes at least a third of the way down the shirt. So...three things I'm concerned about. One is facing "creep", Secondly, tell-tale facing line. And lastly, well, it's just so darn hot out now! Why do I even need a facing at all???

Suddenly, I got *that* kind of feeling. The smug feeling I sometimes get when thinking I know better than the pattern designer and instruction writer. Sometimes I end up being humbled at my lame-brained smugness, other times I feel like I showed them! This time, yes! I showed them.

I'm sure there was a reason for the facing, but it's just not necessary for the one-shoulder version in my ITY knit. It has good stretch and recovery. However, let's say my knit didn't have good stretch and recovery. I'd still make it without a facing and would place clear elastic along a portion of the front and back neckline when topstitching if it needed it. Yes, the neckline is on the bias, and it could stretch out a bit. Even if clear elastic wasn't inserted from the get-go, I could still add it later. Therefore, I maintain this top does not need a facing. IMO, it should be optional and noted as so. I just did the turn-under-and-top-stitch method. (Note: cut the armhole SA down to 3/8" before turning under and topstitching. The curve is too acute.)

Let's move on to sizing. Paula from PR mentioned doing a post about size morphing here are my pics explaining just that.

My neck, shoulders and high bust are a 10. From the high bust down I'm a 14. For my figure, morphing between the two is a breeze resulting in a pattern that needs minimal alterations. The problem is, many patterns are multi-sized up to a 12. The next size range starts at 14 on up. This beauty of this pattern is that it has the 6-14 size range. THANK YOU, Simplicity! You made my day when I bought this pattern. Actually, it probably was THE reason I bought it. Here is how I morphed the pattern blending from the size 14 at the side seams and lower armhole to the 10 from the notch up. Shown is the front piece only, but I did the same on the back as well.

Showing the armhole and shoulder area:
Here's the shoulder and angled front:

This morphing between sizing produces a great fit for me with minimal alteration effort. The only alteration I made to this pattern was to move the entire shoulder seam forward a 1/2". You might be thinking, "Well, what alterations would you being doing if you weren't using a multisize pattern?" Here's a list of some that are typical for me depending on the pattern:

1. Narrow shoulder.

2. Forward shoulder.

3. Removing neckline gape

4. FBA

5. Swayback

6. Broad upper back

7. Tweaking the side seams to fit

Among others...

Realistically, morphing a multi-size pattern may not work for everyone, but it works great for me. It's something to try and, depending on your figure, you might be very happy with the results.

Getting back to my assessment of this pattern. I really like it! The only thing I'm going to change on my second version (yes, I'm actually sewing this weekend because it's hot as you know what!) is to remove some width of the shoulder and drop the neckline on the front and back. My daughters concurred with my feelings on that. The area that is shaded in red lines is what is going to be removed from the pattern for my next version.

What's on tap for my next version? A royal blue, cotton knit top. DD#2 will try it on, critique it, then I'll modify the pattern to make a one-shoulder royal blue, cotton knit summer dress for her. Hopefully it will get made this weekend. The top, sans facing, takes about one hour to make. Piece-of-cake sewing! Off to do my review of this pattern at PR. This will be my 100th review! Well, there are actually many more things for me to review, it's just getting enough time to do them :) .

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Rectangle Dress

Here is DD#1 in a self-drafted, draped rectangle dress made according to her specifications.

The story behind it...

DD#1 came home from college in May and showed me a cell phone pic of a dress she liked in a store. The price tag was $40, and not a price a poor college student was going to pay for a simple knit, summer dress. She said, "Mom! I want you to make me that dress!!" Easy peasy. No need to use a pattern :) . The dress is basically rectangles :) .

The problem was she wanted that dress in orange. I couldn't find an appropriate orange online and went to my local fabric store to see if orange knit was in stock. The owner said no, but she would order some for me. While there, I found a teal knit that was perfect for a test dress.

At first she didn't love the color but as the dress shaped up, she liked it. I created a double layer bodice with the fold of the fabric at the top edge. It was pin fitted on her to determine the CB seam and the front, vertical darts. I chalk marked a horizontal waistline seam. Okay. Done with the bodice.

For the skirt piece, I measured her hip and added 3". She doesn't need more ease than that because she's slim, muscular and toned. A CB seam was basted and gathering stitches added on the back and front. There is no gathering at the sides because IMO that would not produce a slimming profile at the waist when viewed from the front and back. DD#2 agreed with that call. I checked with her on the strap width and created 2 interfaced tubes for the strap with a finished measurement 1" wide.

I pinned the skirt portion to the bodice at the CB, CF, and pinned the straps into place. DD#1 tried on the dress, and I pulled the front and back gathers to fit the bodice, rechecked the waistline seam and darts, and fiddled with strap length and placement. Made the necessary adjustments, then permanently stitched all seams.

The end result? DD#1 really likes the dress. The one change we will make on her orange dress will be making the straps 1 1/2-2" wide. We both felt they were too narrow. My only other issue is with the darts. She says she was wearing the same bra for fittings but I don't think so (I distinctly remember her wearing a pretty VS pushup bra during one of the fittings!). A strapless bra produces more east/west action vs. an in/up push-up bra. They appeared to be in perfect position during the fittings, but not so much now. Not like she cares anyway. Just as long as the general look is there, she's happy. She's uninterested in bust dart issues like the general, non-sewing population. In addition, I think we will go with 4" of ease on the skirt next time, doing a little skirt dart and gathering on the back. Those curvy, muscular glutes are calling for about 1" (maybe 2") extra of ease. Sometimes the dress back seems to get hung up there.

As for that $40 RTW sundress? Mine ended up about $7 including thread and interfacing. No pattern needed too, just rectangles draped on her figure. Easy patternless sewing! BTW, she just sent back to college for a weekend and saw her cousin. Now her cousin wants me to make her a dress too :) ! Luckily I have a few extra fabric scraps and have started on some muslin tees for Riley too. I created a pattern and whipped up a muslin tee for him last night, and he looked SO cute running around in it. The hardest part was getting it on him. I forgot the neck measurement has to be begin enough to fit over his head lol! At least I discovered that before even attempting to put it on him though. The girls were laughing over this little Sphynx kitten running around in his teal t-shirt. He looked so cute.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

No Time to Sew, But a Good Reason Why!

There has been no time to sew the last 1 1/2 weeks. And the reason is below. Our precious little baby boy, Riley. He's a Sphynx, and Oh-So-Cute!!! That is, if you like the look of hairless cats lol. He's a little lavender boy with handsome green eyes. We got him from the same breeder as Jake, our Devon Rex.

Our cat boys are doing their best to get along. Jake loves this new little boy and trills like crazy. We have to keep them apart at night because they both love to play, however, Jake is a lot bigger than Riley and can play harder. Not always "fair play". Riley sleeps in the boys' room at night, and Jake sits outside the bedroom door trying to open it. In the morning, he meows like crazy for Riley to come out.

It is truly like having a newborn baby in the house with an older sibling. They have to constantly be watched. Yes, kittens are cute, but they take a LOT of work. Off to take my shower while the cat boys are napping...

Here are some pics of our little youngster:

My youngest son holding Riley at the breeder the day we picked him up.

Little Riley likes being between the couch cushion and back. I can't adjust my slipcovers because of him!

The boys together on Riley's second day home:

Even boys need their beauty sleep:

Zoning out in our noisy house:

Still zoning...

Jake and Riley trying to bond:

Those eyes! Same color as my sister's lol. Bright, light green!

More beauty sleep for a very active kitten!

What does he feel like? A hot water bottle! He has a slight downy feel, but very warm to the touch. I'm going to pull some knits out of my stash today and make him some clothes for cooler days. There's plenty of fleece in my stash for nice Fall/Winter/Early Spring attire as well. Nudey beauties like Riley need clothes for cooler weather ahead. Good thing his Momma sews!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

When is denim not really denim?

Life certainly has taken its toll on blogging. It's very hard to believe I haven't blogged about anything since February. Life in general has been very busy, in March I had a huge hat order, April brought some prom dress alterations, a couple of sports name tags, and sporadic work on my niece's baby quilt that was supposed to be done months ago (still not done!).

If you have read my two blog posts this year (oh what a paltry number of posts!), you know that I made a pair of Jalie jeans and loved, loved, loved them. A second pair was whipped up from the same denim with embroidered pockets and an improved waistband/yoke fit. On the second pair I lowered the crotch curve another half inch but removed it after making the second pair. I don't think it made much difference. The jeans are so close to perfect for my figure so I'm just doing some minor backside tweaking. Instead for my third pair, I decided to do a 1/2" fisheye dart just under the crotchline. It's exciting to see what this is going to do for my 3rd pair of jeans.

Which brings me to my next point. When is denim not really denim? I bought some periwinkle stretch denim (96/4) from Lura's Fabric Shop and was quite disappointed when my package arrived. I know part of it is a customer issue on my part. My monitor shows more of a royal blue-ish color. Requesting either a Pantone color chart number or ordering a swatch would have solved my issue. That wasn't my only beef though.

Here is the side-by-side "denim" color comparison ( denim on the left, Lura's denim on the right). Not exactly the "periwinkle" color that comes up on my monitor from the Lura's website either. I was hoping for a darker blue so in that respect, it was disappointing.

The fabric is advertised as, "Lady Wrangler's bull denim with stretch in a beautiful periwinkle color". Okay. So I don't buy Wrangler jeans. But I do buy jeans, and I'm quite familiar with denim fabric. Are Wrangler jeans made from a different type of denim that I usually use? It looked more like a denim twill. Is this typical of bull denim? Here are comparison pics to show you the fabric and color difference between my 96/4 stretch denim purchased a couple of years ago and the Lura's 96/4 stretch denim purchased a few months ago.

Here's the denim from Lura's. When I think denim for jeans, this is not exactly what I think of as jeans denim. Someone correct me please. Is this a denim twill?

When I think of denim for jeans, it is supposed to look like the pic below. This was great stretch denim purchased from a while back during a sale:

All is not lost, however. The color and fabric type certainly are not my favorite, but I'll get a good pair of around-the-house jeans. Maybe once they're made I'll actually like them. The important thing for me was to get the same 96/4 stretch for fitting purposes. That I did get.

So that is what is now occupying my time from a sewing standpoint--my 3rd pair of Jalie jeans. On the table. Ready for me to insert the fly-front zipper.

Happy Sewing!