Friday, February 26, 2010

Project Sewing Area Cleanup

So, my sewing area is really my dining room. Why, you ask? Because we don't really use the dining room and there is no room anywhere else. I actually do have a sewing table but there is not really a great place for it so it is currently in the garage. The dining room gets so little use for dining that I took it over. But, my goodness, does it get full of clutter. It seems like the large table is just the perfect spot to dump things. You have to walk past it to get into the kitchen, so everyone dumps their clutter there. On top of that, I have a hard time keeping my sewing paraphenalia organized.

Today, I decided to do something about this mess. I am going to organize it. No wonder I don't sew more than once a week. It is a mess!

Here is what it looked like this morning:

Did I mention the dog sleeps in here, too?

So, what to do? Well, I started with just cleaning it up and organizing. I found an expanding file for patterns. I stacked the plastic tubs and organized the fabric on the shelves. I put the serger on top of the china cabinet (why not?) and the sewing maching near the window. The rolls of Swedish Tracing paper are nicely stashed. But it is still not good enough. I need to get the rest of the fabric out of the tubs. I need more space for thread, especially since the thread holder I have now is broken. I need a multi-drawer bin for notions. So, I am off to Lowe's Hardware and Target to look for options.

Here is what it looks like so far!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rosalind Tee, part three (it's done!)

Rosalind is done! This little tee is from Ottobre 3/2009. As you may recall from me blogging about it earlier, this was a fun tee to make. I learned a few new stitches. After an exhaustive internet search, I was able to find the cutest buttons in the world on Etsy seller Overspill. We all love these buttons! Thankfully, I have enough to make another tee or two.

So, here she is! Now, I just have to wait for the Michael Miller Big E fabric to arrive to create the matching skirt and an outfit will be ready to wear. In the meantime, my daughter is wearing this top with red polka dot Boden pedal pushers. They have a heart-shaped pocket on them, so in her mind they match the top perfectly. Who am I to argue with that logic?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Three redos and two bandaids later......

I finally got the dress and leggings done from Ottobre Spring 2007. I am so happy with them! This fabric is from Chez Ami. The leggings are from a cotton lycra and the dress is a cotton jersey. The turquoise trim is also Chez Ami and is a cotton interlock. I just love them! These are wonderfully easy fabrics to work with.
So, why three redos and two bandaids? Because the first attempt at the top of the dress turned out way too wide at the shoulders. The second attempt was too narrow at the waist. The third attempt had the sleeves not inserted correctly. During all of this stitch ripping, I managed to stab myself twice in two different fingers with my new tool, Gingher 4 inch featherweight thread snips. I love this tool for ripping seams out and cutting small thread, but dang are the ends sharp! I stabbed myself twice!

So, at any rate, here is the finished result, patterns # 11 and #17 from Spring 2007 Ottobre.

Ta da!

You might notice that the waist is not lying flat like it is in Ottobre. I decided I liked the fullness and left it that way.

She is wearing the leggings with a diaper today because we are being lazy. But she is potty learning and will be more and more in underwear. So, these will look better with less bulk underneath. They are meant to be capris length.

I really like this pattern and now that I have gotten over making so many mistakes, I am planning to use more of these pieces in other Chez Ami fabrics.


And since one sister cannot have all the attention to herself, here is my older daughter in a dress I made for her last summer from a McCalls pattern. It did not fit back then but she has grown into it. It has a ribbon tie in the back to help it from falling off her shoulders and also to add a pretty touch.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What next?

I am trying to decide what to sew next. I want to make this Ottobre dress from the 1/07 issue. It is a very cute dress! Looks soft and comfortable, like Hanna Andersson dresses. There is even a leggings pattern in the same issue! I plan to make them capris length for spring.

And here are the fabrics I have to chose from. Which should I do? These are all cotton knits from Chez Ami, with lycra/cotton knits for the leggings.

First choice: Red floral dress with multi dot leggings. I have turquoise for binding on dress.

Pink floral for dress with orange dot for leggings. I have blue for binding on dress.

Brown and pink floral with pink dot for leggings. I have pink for binding on dress.

Which would you chose?

Rosalind Tee, part two

Rosalind is pretty much done! I just need to sew the buttons around the neckline but it is otherwise done. I am pleased with how it turned out. My daughter loves it. I think the neckline is too wide but it is still pretty good for a beginning seamstress. This picture shows the tee worn over a camisole. You can see the camisole poking out of the neckline of the tee.

But I think the sleeves turned out great. I could not figure out how to use elastic thread on my machine. I tried many stitch variations on practice material and I could never get it to look right. So, in the end, I used elastic and it looks fine Perfect!

The buttons will be sewn on soon and I will get a final picture. One thing at a time! It is hard to sew with a 2 year old and a 6 year old, neither of whom nap, at home.

In other news, since my original SWAP plan was to sew pull on denim pants to go with this top, and that failed miserably, my new plan is to sew a tiered flouncy, twirly skirt. My sewing coop is in the process of placing an order for some Michael Miller fabric. Here are the swatches I will use to make a long, twirly skirt to wear with this top.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Rosalind Tee, part one

This week, I am beginning my SWAP outfits. SWAP = sewing with a purpose. See a few posts down for more info.

Last night, I started sewing the Rosalind Tee from Ottobre 3/2009. This lovely fabric is from Chez Ami and it is so thick and soft that my daughter immediately commmented on it when she tried it on. As you can see, the top is starting to take shape nicely and fits her well. It still needs sleeves and button trim, but it looks great so far and I am proud of myself!

Sewing this top has been a fun adventure because I have never sewn with knits before. I have sewn for 30 years but I have stuck mostly with simple things like curtains or basic skirts. I take a sewing class once a week where we work on our own projects but an instructor is available for help as needed. Last night, I learned a couple of new stitches! I don't know why I thought that knits were hard to sew with. They are actually easier because there is so little unraveling! Even though I don't have a coverstitch machine, my sewing instructor taught me to use the twin needle to make the binding on the neckline. My first attempt, luckily sew on a practice piece of material, was not so great. It was lumpy. But I kept trying until it looked neat and then moved on to the top. As you can see, it is not perfect, but it is good enough. It lies flat on the body and will look better when the buttons are sewn on to distract from the slightly uneven stitching. This was a fun stitch to learn. I will be using it often now.

I also learned how to use different zig zag stitches to sew the rest of the garment together. Here is a picture of the inside seam closeup. This looks very nice from the outside and I am pleased with this stitch.

All in all, this is a nice garment to make. I still need to sew the sleeves and button trim on but that will be done as soon as I figure out the best way to do them. The problem with sewing from a pattern translated from Finnish to English is there are sometimes directions that are unclear! So, I am waiting for advice on how to make the ruffled edge of the sleeve and then I can finish this thing up!