Monday, September 11, 2017

My week of UFOs

Hello everyone!

What a difference a week makes!  So much has changed since I checked in with my September sewing plans.  Mainly, the changes have to do with the weather here in Georgia.  I am sure most of you have seen the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and have followed along with Hurricane Irma as well.  For now, my household is bracing itself for the after effects of Irma, as we are mostly in its path.

So, my kids are out of school, and I have prepped as much as I can by doing laundry, buying non-perishable items (in case of a power outage), charging electronics/phones, and preparing my mind and heart.  We are not expecting the worst, mostly heavy winds and rain, but we do live near a wooded area with lots of trees that could fall.

My prayer is that we continue to stay safe as the storm passes.  Also, my prayer is for all of those affected by severe weather/hurricanes/storms/flooding.  We have been doing our part to help others, and plan on continuing to do so.



That being said, I did want to take a moment to share the two projects I finished while working on UFOs last week.

Over and over, I am learning that I am not a quick sewer, LOL!  In fact, I am "quick" in my head, but slow when it comes to getting it all done.  Nevertheless, I might be a little faster than years past.  And, any finished project is a WIN, no matter the time it takes!

So, here is my son's vest:

Before buttons and label

After buttons and label
This project was mostly finished, and only needed  hand sewing to be done.  That is actually something I enjoy, so I sat down one evening and got to it.  I used my Classic Tailored Shirt class with Pam Howard to review sewing on a button properly, and then I did it!  Truly, Pam Howard is an excellent teacher!  While I can still brush up on my hand sewing technique, I was pretty pleased with the way the interior came out.

I used a cotton shirting for the fabric of the vest, and the wrong side of a shiny fabric I bought from Hobby Lobby (not sure what it was, maybe a satin).  The wrong side worked perfectly because it looks a lot less dull, but still lends a crisp, clean look to the vest.  Basically, I was trying to steer away from a super shiny, cheap-looking lining.

My second garment posed a bit of a dilemma.  Here it is:



This is Mccalls and I made it sleeveless after I could not get the stripes to match at the sleeves.  I was so baffled too! I know I cut them right, but re-cut them to be sure.  I even looked up YT videos, and found some additional sewing resources to help.  The fabric is not flawed, but I couldn't get the sleeves to do right.  After trying seven times (I can insert sleeves really good now, lol) I finally decided that this top just wanted to be sleeveless!  And so it is!

As a side note, I had a friend give me a wonderful suggestion for this top:

Though I absolutely LOVE this top, I didn't have any lace that would coordinate with my stripes. But, I am thankful for friends that have great ideas, and will keep this in mind for the future.

I was a bit concerned about the modesty of the back, but after stitching up the sides and trying it on, I realized that it was not as exposed as I thought.  


Now, I am awaiting the appropriate under garments before I photograph the final results for all of you.  I believe the shirt is a cotton knit with spandex.

I am now moving on to the Kelly Anorak, as of today!!!  I am excited, but sad to leave a lot of projects for a later time.  Who knows, I may take breaks from Kelly in order to work on an item here or there.  We shall see...

In the meantime, I will check in sometime this week again to let you know my progress.  I am working on posting more to Instagram, but it is definitely a learning curve because I prefer blogging. But, you can gladly follow me there to get updates a little more frequently.  

Stay sew-filled!










Monday, September 4, 2017

August Recap/September Plans

Hello everyone!

I must start by saying that you are all AMAZING!  I am humbled by the kind comments you leave, and thankful for others who have gotten so excited that they decided to follow along with me on my blog, or through

For my recap of August, the month started off in such a crazy way with the arm pain I was having.  I really didn't know how I was going to sew a thing, and felt a bit disheartened about that.  But, things slowly began to heal, and each day brought me less pain, and more ability and movement in my daily life.  Right now, I am practically normal, and eternally GRATEFUL!

And even better, my sewing didn't have to suffer!

Here are all of the projects I finished for August:

.

A total of four pieces (five if you count my son's shorts).  Or, essentially, four tops, and a pair of shorts.  My favorite part is that I like everything I made!  That is rare for me!  Usually I have a wadder or two, but I am glad that each piece came out well.

I projected that I would finish 3-4 items from my August plan, and I "kind of" made it.  I sewed two things on the list, and threw in two of my own, LOL!  

Overall, I have learned more about myself and my sewing style.  While watching Project Runway on Thursday I decided to write down my own design aesthetic.  Granted, I am not a designer, but I think it helps to know who you are, and what you love to sew. 

 For me, I had a personal revelation that I love classic designs.  Not necessarily minimalistic things, as I do love a garment with visual interest and shaping, but styles that stand the test of time, and look good in season and out.  I also love a bit of trend, though the proportion of that is relatively small in comparison to my whole wardrobe.  I am sure this will be tweaked as I go along, but the very foundation of what appeals to me can be summed up by classic with a bit of trend.  I am using this as my guide, and  moving forward.

Of course that doesn't deter me from sewing garments that stretch me, or hone my sewing skills.  In fact, that leads me to my plan for September, or National Sewing Month!!!

It is time to get back to the Closet Case Files Kelly Anorak!!


I am going to take the FIRST week of September to close out any projects I have going on, and then use the rest of the month to work on the Kelly Anorak, and a dress for my brother's wedding in October.  I am still in the process of choosing a dress pattern from my stash so I will let you know which pattern I decide on.  My goal is to start early so I can ensure I have more than enough time to sew (I am SO bad with deadlines).

My original plan was to muslin the jacket and then cut my fabric.  I will still do that, but am focusing on the basic shell of the jacket just to make sure I like the fit.  It is worth nothing that this fabric was the most expensive I have ever bought, so I want to be confident when I cut into it!

I will check in at the end of the week to let you see my progress!  For this week of unfinished projects, I will post updates to my Instagram.  

Stay sew-filled!





Thursday, August 31, 2017

Lacy Aurora

Hello everyone!

My fascination with the Aurora tank top continues!  I decided to create another one, but this time I wanted to use a fabric I had not sewn with before--LACE!  I have gobs of stretch lace in my closet, and I have been saving it for a while now.  Over the years I have been collecting ones I like, or designs that were pretty.  It took no time at all to come up with a color combination that I liked.

Here is what I came up with:


And I LOVE it!!!  It is so comfy and stylish at the same time!

I will say that as I began to assemble this top, my hubby gave me a puzzled look.  "Umm, does that go together?"

I told him it did, and he would see it all in the end, LOL!  Does anyone else have people that look at your work in progress, and question the direction of it?  Now, I readily admit that there have been times that my hubby has been right.  But, thankfully, this time not one of them.  He conceded that the top looks better than he had anticipated.




I did make a tweak to this version.  Instead of turning and stitching the neckline and armholes down, I created binding from the same knit as the top (pre-cut cotton knit from Fabricmarts Fabric). The result is so much nicer!



And I am definitely sold on using three rows of stitching to gather, as opposed to two!!! It creates a lot of threads to differentiate among, but the fiddle factor goes WAY down for me. I repeat...way down!  I would even say it makes it tolerable, and that is saying a lot!


Here are the finished insides:


Overall, this top is another favorite, and I highly recommend it as a tank top staple!  If it was the beginning of summer, I could see sewing at least five more.  However, I will have to revisit it next year instead.




Stay sew-filled!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Aurora tank top

Hello everyone!

Thank you for the kind comments from my last post regarding the back to school garments I made for my kiddos!  Summer Flies asked me whatever happened to my shirt dress, and I promise I haven't forgotten about it.

Sometimes I tend to get in a sewing stall (especially on complicated/ new-to-me projects) and I am still learning to ebb and flow, rather than giving up altogether.  For me, I find that sewing an easier project, and then coming back to what I have stalled at, helps me to refresh and push through.  That doesn't work for everyone, but that has certainly been my process.  So, thank you for asking!  It is still on my list for August, LOL!

In the meantime, the Aurora tank top has been a wonderful distraction:


I have so much to say about this EASY sew!`  Let me start by saying that this is a Seamworks by Colette pattern.  Basically, it is their beginner-friendly sewing line that coincides with their online pattern magazine Seamwork.  You can see the details below, or skip ahead to my review (I am not here to sell anything, only to provide info).

How Seamwork works: 
For $6 a month, you receive credits to sew at least 2 Seamwork patterns, and get FREE access to their online magazine by the same name.  The Seamwork patterns are formulated to
  • be made in an afternoon (quick wardrobe WIN)
  • be worn together (tops, pants, cardigans, cape, cropped jacket, you name it, with more styles added each month/as well as pattern hacks)
  • enhance your sewing experience as you learn new techniques (wonderful for beginners)
  • help you make clothes that fit (sizes 0-26)
Once you download the pattern, you keep it in  your pattern library forever. I am still figuring out just how accurate each of these benefits are, but I will say the Aurora top was definitely a quick sew that I could see one completing in an afternoon.  I finished mine about two hours from start to finish (cut-out to completion).  Yay!

Another perk of the magazine is that you can use your credits to purchase Colette patterns, and ebooks as well.  

I decided to trial the program when I saw an ad offering a membership for half the price--$3!!!  I mean, I am willing to pay $3 for access to a library of smooth sailing patterns that keep my sewing mojo going.  I will evaluate just how much I like it as the months continue. You can find more info here.

Review of Aurora


Okay, if you know me or read my blog at all, I FULLY admit to the fact that PDFs are not my thing. I have tried a few, and I always hate taping them and putting them together because they don't match up well.  Somehow I broke this cardinal rule of mine in my interest in this pattern.  And, guess what? I taped this thing together so fast it made my head spin!  Literally, I watched Project Runway, lined up the pages, and had it all adjusted and cut out within 20 minutes. 

I made a size S, and graded to M at the waist according to my measurements.  My whimsical print is from a Girl Charlee bargain knit lot that I purchased back in April (my only fabric purchase this year, yikes).

Here is the layout of the pattern once I got it together (also posted on my Instagram):



I was mainly concerned about the fit since I had never sewn anything from Colette before, but now I don't know why I was worried.  It fits like a dream!  The back has a lovely yoke, and the front is slightly gathered at the straps.



Speaking of gathering, let me tell you a little bit about garment construction.  For the positive, the instructions were easy to follow, and there were helpful hints given along the way.  I despise gathering, and will find anyway around it, but I did love using three rows of basting stitches to gather as opposed to two.  It created beautiful gathers that needed minimal manipulation--I am one happy sewer after doing it this way!

On the flip side, I LOVE my garments to look clean inside and out (as much as possible).  I thought there were some areas of the instruction where a cleaner line could be created, and it did not equip the sewer with that knowledge.  Maybe I am SPOILED by Burda and Ottobre, LOL, but I just made my own adjustment and moved forward:

FRONT

BACK
The back has a pleat, which creates a nice effect.  It gets lost in the busyness of the pattern, but lots of pressing helped me to get it set in right.  The shapely hem is also a great feature.

Overall, I am pleased with the Aurora tank!  It easily has the capability to be a staple wardrobe piece that you can create different looks with.  In fact, I am working on a "different" look for this one right now!  


Until then, I am enjoying the heat in this cool tank!

Stay sew-filled!