Friday, July 24, 2015

Look at my feet!

Hello everyone!

I wanted to take a moment to go over a few of my recent sewing-related purchases. Since I knew I wanted to jump back into sewing again, I tried to think of things that would make my life..easier.  You know, some handy items that help you to cut corners...a little bit (lol).  I came up with sewing machine feet!!!! I have a few basic ones already, but I decided that I wanted to venture out and purchase a few more.  Here's what I got:

1. Walking foot
Now, if you are a reader of my blog, you probably already know that I have a walking foot already. In fact, I use my walking foot for pretty much EVERY fabric I sew--especially since I mainly sew knits. It helps the fabrics to feed evenly, and makes sewing a dream.  So why did I need another one? Well, my old one has seen better days, and it really needed to be upgraded. It was a cheapie I got on Ebay, and I think the parts are mostly plastic, so I knew it wouldn't last forever. I'm so excited to use this one soon!

Now this foot does a narrow rolled hem in one step! I remember working on a project last year, and working with a more slippery fabric, trying to create a narrow rolled hem. I was so frustrated! I loved the finished look, but it took me a while to accomplish it. No more! This foot will definitely be getting lots of usage!

Topstitch much? Need a little help making sure your topstitching is straight and even? Try an Edgestitch foot. I think this one is also called by other names, but it basically has an adjustable guide that will help you to achieve straight stitching. My only topstitching has been on the jeans I started (but haven't yet finished) and though my lines are nice and straight, I sewed VERY SLOWLY in order to get them that way. I'm looking forward to trying this one out and seeing if it will help me speed up just a little bit.

I also considered getting a gathering foot, but very quickly remembered that my Brother serger has one INCLUDED!  I have been watching the video tutorial for that feature, and plan on practicing on scraps this weekend. It looks pretty easy, though.

I have been storing my "feet" in a bin from Hobby Lobby , and plan on buying more down the road, once I can decide what I would need, and how it can benefit my sewing. 

If you would like any more information on Sewing Machine Feet, you can check out Craftsy's FREE class. It has information on basic feet (if you are just getting started), and more advanced ones too. 

Stay sew-filled!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Let's start at the very beginning...

(Sound of Music style)

Let's start at the very beginnning, 
a very good place to start. 

When you read you begin with A, B, C.

When you sew you begin with a straight seam... (LOL)

Hello everyone!!!! OH, how I have missed YOU!! I know I have been away for far too long, and not only have I missed YOU...I have missed SEWING!!!!

A few of you even emailed me, or commented on my blog during my long absence, and I thank you for it. To be honest, I was so entrenched in family life and activities that sewing got squeezed out. And then somehow I messed up on my computer and deleted the file folder that contained all the photo content for my blog. That is why you see a lot of error symbols where those photos should be. I didn't have the heart to sort out that mess, so I let it be.  In fact, up until last weekend, my sewing room was in complete disarray, and I hadn't sewn a single stitch. I go again...starting from the very beginning.

You see, I just couldn't get myself to get rid of my blog. I thought about it. I really did! I kept thinking, "you're not really doing anything with it" and "who knows when you will sew again," but I couldn't let go of this space.

My love for blogging and sewing has never died. No matter how busy and crazy my life has gotten, this passion has continued to lie dormit. And now, I am ready to re-awaken it!

This is the reason why I AM BACK!

Road trip this summer with hubby & kids (my first time in braids)

I plan to sew for fun, and include things for my family as well.  For this reason, I decided to SUBSCRIBE to Ottobre Design Magazine!! Yay!

Here is the Spring/Summer issue I received for subscribing. There are SO many adorable patterns for kids!! I want to sew them ALL! Here are some of my faves:

This is the cutest jumper! I love the back detail too! Does this come in an adult size too? LOL!

Here is a dress with the same keyhole back feature! And, you can't go wrong with leggings. My daughter wears a lot of them.

These Bermuda shorts are just what my son wants!!  I love the father-son matching theme. My son, who is 8, still thinks matching his dad is cool.  He doesn't want me to show him love and affection, though.

Just so moms don't feel left out, there is a mother-daughter ensemble as well! Talk about awesome!

I even received the Fall/Winter issue as well, and it is just as amazing! 

I'll have to highlight this one in a future blog post, but I am really enjoying the brilliant designs Ottobre features. I often have a hard time sewing for my son, and the variety for his age is great, without looking outdated.

I am also trying another sewing magazine too! This one is called My Image. I have seen it around, and browsed some of their patterns from time to time, but never wanted to purchase it until their Fall/Winter issue came out.  

You'll have to take my word for it since I was too lazy to take photos of some of the styles in the magazine, but there is a great cardigan, a few tunics, dresses, leggings, and a jacket that are all lovely! You can browse the magazine here if you'd like to take a look for yourself. The magazine is super affordable, and I am looking forward to seeing how their patterns fit.

That's all I will reveal about my preparations for now. I have some more things to share with you in the coming days.

For now, I am glad to be back.

Here's to staying sew-filled!


Sunday, November 2, 2014

October Re-cap, November Plans

Hello everyone!

Welcome to November!!

October was a pretty good month for me, sewing-wise.  I completed three out of a projected amount of four finished items!  I am super happy with that because I started out the month with a series of wadders.  I was so tempted to throw in the towel and forget my whole plan, but...I put on my big girl pants (one of my co-workers used to say this all the time) and moved forward.  Sometimes you just have to go, one step at a time.  And that is what I did.

Here's what I ended up with:

So that adds two more tops and a cardigan to my wardrobe...woo hoo!  And I did still end up with a pretty good looking month, since I completed one item more than last month.

On the other hand, I still have not accomplished an entirely Me-Made outfit.  My jeans are currently in progress, and since they will probably take up most of my time for November, I only added a few additional patterns from my Fall sewing plan.

I'm going to try again on Burda 6910, View B with a lovely sweater knit I purchased from Joann's Fabrics some time ago.  The trick for this one will be doing a broad shoulder adjustment.  I also remember that there was neckline gaping, so I'll have to revisit the sizing to make sure I chose the proper one.  Don't worry, I plan on doing a muslin to avoid a lot of frustration with this one.

I also plan to try Simplicity 1463 for the first time, View A:

I saw a version on Patternreview that was just gorgeous!  Hopefully my version will turn out just as nice.

If all of that gets done (or if I just really need a pair), my "ace in the hole" will be a few pair of leggings.  I am gearing up for Fall/Winter outfits, and I only have one pair of black leggings.  A couple of weeks ago I downloaded a free pdf pattern from Spit Up and Stilettos called the Matilda Leggings, and I really want to try sewing them up.  The site has some awesome patterns for FREE! Check them out if you like.  

Here's hoping I am wildly successful in my sewing plans for this month!  I can tell you right now that November is going to be super busy for me personally.  Half the battle will be balancing the craziness with making time to sew, but I believe it can be done.  If you have any tips for how you keep your sewing mojo going during the holiday season let me know.

Also, THANK YOU all for your kind comments on my blog!  I always return every comment by email, because I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to say something to me.

Stay sew-filled!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mccalls 6844 "Following the Crowd"

Hello everyone!

October is winding down, and we are still experiencing a relatively mild Fall here in Georgia.  I am truly grateful, though, because I am still cranking out garments from my Fall sewing plans.  Though I have made a dent in my plans, I have only scratched the surface of where I want to be.

Speaiking of Fall weather, I have had a cardigan on my "to-sew" list for a LONG time now--mostly because I enjoy wearing them come Fall.  My own closet consists of two RTW cardigans.  The first one is a longer gray one, and the second one is a shorter, black one.  Both of them have served me well, yet I really wanted to branch out and add some more color choices to my wardrobe.

So, I sewed the ever popular Mccalls 6844, View B, Size S:

This is a great basic cardigan, in my opinion.  I like that it has options for a peplumed version, or a waist length version.  If you need a cardigan, one of these options is likely to fit the bill.

For my version, I used a Burgundy Rayon/Lycra Jersey knit from Fabricmart Fabrics.  I got the idea from my black RTW cardigan.  Seriously!  I am a bit of a RTW sneak.  I think of what I want to sew, find a comparable RTW garment in my closet, then "sneak" in and inspect it to discover clues as to what I should do about fabric choice, etc. once I pick out a pattern.  Well, I guess it's not sneaking because I own it, but I still feel like I'm cheating in some way by observing RTW techniques : )

My adjustments are as follows:
  • 1/4" Square Shoulder (my standard nowadays)
  • Waist grading to a Medium
  • 1" Swayback Adjustment (it is looking so good now)
The construction of the cardigan was simple, and easy for a beginner to follow.  I decided to take a different route, though, and NOT use my serger. Mostly, that was due to not having matching thread, and not wanting to buy any.  I wanted the inside seams to not be glaringly obvious, so I sewed double-stitched seams with my stretch stitch, and trimmed them close.  

I also took the time to really pay attention to pressing my seams.  It was a way to practice good habits on a simple project.  I decided to interface the collar, despite the fact that other people from PR have done without it.  I reasoned that my fabric was so slinky I wanted to make sure it had a great amount of stability there.  I am glad that I did! The added weight makes it sit wonderfully.  Also, I made sure to leave a 5/8" seam allowance around the interfaced cowl piece so that it was still easy to sew together.

All of my hems were done with a narrow hem, which I really love.  It finishes off very clean.  

For fitting the back, I increased my swayback adjustment from 1/2" (last time) to 1", and I love the result! Take a look for yourself:

I couldn't believe how nice the back looked when I tried it on!  And no centerback seam, either!!  I have been trying out the pivot and slide method that Nancy Zieman (love her) uses in her Pattern Fitting with Confidence book, and it really works.  I admit to being a little hesitant, but it worked for my cardigan, at least, and all you are doing is decreasing the back waist length.  I'll keep tweaking this and let you know how it goes, for those of you interested.  I got her book from my local library, and the adjustment is super easy!!!

Overall, I guess hundreds of reviewers can't lie regarding this pattern.  I like it!  Oh yeah, my only other tip was that I tacked the cowl down in various places near the bottom of the garment to keep it in place.  I believe Nakisha did that on one of her versions, and I found it extremely helpful.

Let me share a little secret with all of you: I am really enjoying sewing my own clothes!!  Okay, maybe that is not a secret, but SERIOUSLY!  I have finally found out ways to make the things I sew fit much better, and I feel so good wearing them.  Even a basic tee shirt that fits you well can do wonders!  Sewing is loverly!

Now on to those jeans...

Stay sew-filled!