Thursday, March 23, 2017

Back to my Kelly Anorak

Hello everyone!

Has the weather been crazy where you live?  Because it has definitely been "interesting" here in Georgia.  By interesting I mean that one week it is in the 30s, then the next week it is in the low 70s. What?!?  This up and down weather has made me a little disheartened about finishing my Kelly Anorak because I am not even sure when I will be able to wear it.  So, it was good for me to take a small break from this project and sew my last cardigan.

Nevertheless, it is time to get back to business!

I worked up the courage, and cut out all the pattern pieces for the jacket.  There were a lot of pieces, maybe 20 if I had to guess.  I didn't keep track, I just kept cutting.  I figured a size 8 would be more than roomy enough according to the finished measurements.

I was also able to cut out my muslin pieces!  It is becoming real ya'll!  I am going to make a jacket!  
I will begin sewing my muslin up as soon as I get backfrom  a trip out of town.  I was debating how far to go with the muslin, and I believe I will use this it as a way to get some practice in for the final garment.  Yes, I will definitely tweak the fit of this jacket,but there are so many new techniques for me that I think a dry run would be helpful.  

The feature I am most excited about is the gusset pockets! They are 3D-shaped pockets that are super roomy for holding items.  I haven't decided if I will be adding the drawstring feature on the muslin, but I might. 

It is quite obvious that this project is a bigger, ongoing one, so I am not going to be rushing through it. For March my goal is to finish the muslin.

I will check in with you once I get a little further along!

Stay sew-filled!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Original Sewing and Quilt Expo 2017

Hello everyone!!

Did you guess correctly?!?!?

In my last post I alluded to the fact that I had sewn my first Burda cardigan in order to attend an event.  I appreciate your input, and am now ready to share my experience at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo 2017!

Let me give you a little backstory, if you will. I have attended this event before.  In fact, it was years ago.  The last time I went I took a few classes, visited the exhibit hall, and met the lovely blogger Victoria of Ten Thousand Hours of Sewing .  Yet time has passed and I haven't been back.  

To be perfectly honest, I haven't felt the need to return because I felt out of place with the demographic, which was mainly senior citizens.  Even the styling was geared to this demographic, and while I valued the information, I wanted something relevant to my age group, sewing ambitions, and evolving sense of style.

So when I got an email about the upcoming event, I opened it out of curiosity, but fully intending to stay home.  However, when I saw that Burdastyle would be there doing a Runway show, I did a double take. "Wha-What?!?!"

I just knew that I had to be there.  In fact, I felt a deep need to be there, and so that settled it.
Somewhere in the email it also mentioned there would be a "Wear your Burdastyle Day" on Friday, where you could wear your favorite pattern and receive a free gift (more about that in a moment). My plans slowly started to take shape...

This is how I ended up rolling into the Expo:

I took my precious girl, my beanie baby son, and my best friend's daughter, who is just learning to sew herself.  IT WAS FUN!!!  Ok, maybe I did have to wrangle my baby during the Runway show, but it was such a great day!

And you know I had to visit Burdastyle's Booth and share my cardigan make!  I had sewed it bit by bit over a week's time span, and finished it the morning of.  Just before getting there I admit I was quite anxious, but I pressed through and met Meg Healy, Burdastyle's online sewing editorial director and instructor.

She was such a pleasure to meet!  For sewing Burda I received a button that said "I made this!" as well as a free online sewing class!

I really wanted to post some of the pics I took of the runway show, but most of them were blurry, or out of focus.  Instead, you can check out the review on Burdastyle's blog HERE.  There were so many amazing looks (42 looks in all), and it was encouraging to know those looks could be made by the home sewist.  It is that fact that makes me proud to delve into this craft.

I will show you some of my favorite quilts from the Expo, though.  The first one is faith-based, and drew me in right away.  Take a look and see what you see:

If you see a cross, then you are right! It is the image of a cross from an underneath perspective.  You can even note the dimension in the work, with some shading down the length of the cross.  Just beautiful!  I have mostly seen crosses from a head-on visual, so I loved this unconventional rendering, and it's implication of surrender.

My other faves made me think of my children:

My sweet girl loves flowers, and everything "girly."  This quilt made me think of her!  I tell you, looking at this photo just doesn't do this quilt any justice.  The intricate detailing was evident in all of the quilts, and quite impressive to behold.

This last quilt reminded me of my oldest son, a car afficianado:

Again, this quilt is another example of the ART of sewing.  When I showed it to my son he immediately said "Wow mom! Can you make me something like that?"  I wish son, I wish.

Other than the Runway show, much of the Expo was the same as the last time I went.  Had I had more time, I would have stayed and listened to a lot more presentations that took place on stage that day.  They were free, and some of the topics included:
  • Sew Easy! Sew Faster! Sew Much Fun!
  • Comforable Clothes the Easy Way
  • Knockout Knits
  • Sewing for your Little Ones
  • Using Purse Hardware for Professional Results
I would definitely re-visit to hear some of the information given on those topics.  

Vogue Fabrics was also there again.  They had a lot of lovely fabric choices, and pre-cuts, but I did not buy a thing! I don't know how I managed that, but I did.  There was a gorgeous piece I almost bought, but I really want to stick with what I have for now.

Overall, I am SO glad I went, and SO glad I SEWED!  I will be getting back to my jacket now, though.  My goal is to complete the muslin for this month (since we are already midway through).  I had a setback in Feb. with my kiddos being sick, but I am ready to get moving again.

Stay sew-filled!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Burda 117A Cardigan Complete!

Hello everyone!

I am happy to announce that I sewed my first Burda magazine pattern for adults! While I have previously sewn a Burda pattern before, it was a kids pattern.  This time around, I had two main motivations for sewing an adult pattern.  The first is to complete one of my objectives for the year, which is to actually USE the Burda magazines I already have.   The second is one I will reveal in a post later this week (probably Wednesday).

But, for now, here is the completed 117A Cardigan:

I had such a great time pulling out all my Burdastyle magazines, flipping through them, and trying to decide on a quick make.  This pattern comes from a 2011 magazine, but I noticed that a lot of the styles from that year are what are current now. How crazy is that?? It is certainly true that everything comes back around, I just didn't know it was that "fast." I will surely be re-visiting this issue!

So, let me tell you a bit about the garment.  I made a size 40 with no alterations whatsoever.  I figured the style of the garment had enough ease that I didn't need to be too picky.  My main issue, too, is usually the shoulders, but the raglan sleeves were roomy enough that I did not have any probems there.

For fabric I chose a Dragonfly Blue Rayon/Lycra jersey pre-cut from Fabricmart Fabrics (no longer available, sorry).  I have to say that this fabric is very similar to the one I used for the Love Notions cardigan that I did not like as much as you all did.    I chose it again because I wanted to learn how to sew this type of fabric with minimal frustration.  Now originally I did not want to see this kind of fabric for a while, but after a breather, and some minor adjustments, I was ready.

This time I used my fabric guide to help me make sure I was using the proper technique called for rayon jersey.  I found out I needed a different size needle, and stabilizer for sewing the hems.  Those two tips, along with my walking foot, helped me tremendously!!!!!

So, what was it like to sew a Burda pattern for the first time for myself?  Suprisingly (and maybe because I chose an easy style), it was not bad AT ALL.  Tracing off the pattern definitely threw me for a loop because the lines are so confusing. But, if you focus on YOUR line, it is easy peasy.  When I finished all the tracing, and it was only five pieces, I quickly added the seam allowance (3/8") to each piece by this tip: tape a mechanical pencil to a regular pencil. The distance between the two will be 3/8", and you can then place the mechanical pencil without lead drawn along line you traced, and your pencil will draw the additional line. LOVE this, and it took minutes!

Speaking of tips, I found this amazing blog post HERE about sewing Burda patterns.  In fact, I had my own revelation when it came to one of their diagrams with mini pattern numbers.  I finally figured out that these numbers were for the order of construction!! How brilliant!  It helped to guide me along the process to know which pieces were getting sewn in which step.

If there are any additional tricks of the trade you use for Burda patterns, let me know!

I will tell you to be careful when sewing this pattern together on the neckline. I totally goofed on the pieces with extensions.  They are there so that when you attach the facing, it lines up nicely with the front pieces. Of course I didn't leave those ends free, so my version is turned in a little more, but I do like the effect. I will fix that for next time.

The fit, though, is TRULY AMAZING! I understand why people LOVE to sew Burda patterns now! I mean, where can you flip through a fashion magazine, find a style you love, then recreate it with ease?  I am sold!  I will need to stick to the simpler patterns for now (building up my confidence since there are not a lot of pictures to go with each step), yet this garment encouraged me.  I have worn it twice already, and can see this in much of my everyday wardrobe.

So, I did leave out one BIG reason I sewed this, though.  Here is the clue: there was an event I wanted to attend! It is something related to crafts and craftiness, and I will be sharing the answer in a blog post this week!  If you want to take a guess in the comments as to where I went, please feel free!

Bye for now!

Stay sew-filled!