June 27, 2014

Tablecloth or Top???

Yesterday I decided it was time to tackle another ME project with the knits I bought on my NYC trip. Its been getting hotter and steamier and really feeling like true summer so why not a picnic?
This yellow and white giant check cotton jersey from MOOD seemed quite appropriate.

I had these two patterns laying idle for just such a day and decided to combine features of each. I chose the very simple A view (purple in pic) from the McCalls 6960. The photoed one is great but not  in this fabric for sure. I added the little flutter sleeve from view D of the New Look 0190 which is not a pattern suggested for knits.
 Laying the fabric out for cutting I experienced a dilemma. The check is printed slightly off grain. When folding  the center front fold the lines don't match up. Oh well. I went with a nice straight center front. It didn't prove to be a real problem.

The I eliminated the front and back facings. They would look clunky in this lightweight fabric and complicate adding the little sleeve.

Stay-stitching the neckline.

After serving the shoulder seams and slipping this over my head I saw I had the same problem I always encounter due to my height (or lack of). The v-neck  and the underarm were going to expose my under garments. I should have adjusted the pattern ahead of time but when I held the tissue pattern up to my body it didn't seem so bad. Easy fix. I re-serged below the previous stitching.

                                                  Then re-trimmed the back neck a bit.
Blech! That ironing table cover is disgusting. Thats the spot that gets used the most. The rest of it looks great

I did my first non-practice rolled edge with my serger. I'm OK with it but when photographing it, hubby said he thought it wasn't finished.

                   This is the strip for the neck-band. The darker side is going to be the exposed side.
I used the stretch stitch on my sewing machine since the V neck turn was not going to work very well on the serger. After getting it set in place I did go back and serger the raw edged to clean them up. Forgot to take a picture.

The whole underarm was now unfinished since I didn't use the facing. I was able to turn it under and using a wide double needle I faked a nice coverstitch.  

                        Wondertape stabilizes the hem which is sewed with double needle method.
                                                  Here it is on my display mannequin which is not really my size.*
                                        And here it is outside in the glorious sunshine.

Its so dazzling out here that I am wearing my giant sunglasses that are in the frames I bought at the NYC flea market in May. Also I didn't have to bother putting on eye make-up for the shoot!

*I'm thinking of trying to alter the mannequin to make it a real fitting model. The padding out here and there won't be too hard but her shoulders exceed mine by slightly more than 2 inches. How would I whittle them down?

June 22, 2014

Sewing Small

Sunny days call for sunny colors.  I made this little sundress for my granddaughter mostly from very small pieces of fabric. I had plenty of the lollipop flower fabric (Cloud9 organic cotton) but the others were limited. They were fat quarters from Pink Castle Stash Club. 
Can you see the way I had to piece the border on the hem?  Most people won't because she rarely stands still. It was really hard to get her to consent to pose but I think she worked it like a pro once we got started.

This was created with no pattern. I just had some simple measurements. I did not have a fitting until a week or so after completion when she visited for a weekend. Turns out that the bodice was too wide and gapped terribly under the arms. I had not yet attached the straps so I took a tuck on each side of the back opening and covered them with the wide straps. The straps also had to be moved in slightly which was easy since I had only attached them at the front with buttons.

There is only one pocket because I wanted to use the tiny scrap of turquoise piping I had leftover from another project and it was only enough for one pocket. I like the touch of asymmetry.

The back opening got a little wonky and I need to sew down the side openings of those straps. Right now they are kind of like big belt loops.  I actually had these 3 orange buttons and the 2 turquoise flower buttons on hand. I picked them up on sale ages ago with no idea what I was going to do with them.  I just love these colors together and I may try to wear more of this combo myself.

                               Grandson was feeling left out so I had to make something for him.
This leftover monkey face knit with some flaws in it was the perfect thing for sleep shorts since he had come without any PJs.  They took 20 minutes from cutting to wearing. Without pattern, I just sketched with a Frixion pen on the wrong side of the fabric. The length was determined by the amount of fabric and I made them large so I could just trim them off on the serger. A piece of elastic in a follower top holds them up and they were declared "really comfy".

Hers were my first serger garment.  Neither of these is made from "approved" fabric. Every fabric I see has NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN'S SLEEPWEAR stamped on it.

Will I be arrested?

June 13, 2014

A Wasted Week...for the most part

I spent more time with the seam ripper than the sewing machine this week.

My first big letdown was when I stopped in at a Joann Fabrics that is not one of the usual two larger Joann stores that I frequent.  As soon as I walked in I saw a nice display of printed knits and BOOM
there was this fabric.

I just whipped this little drapey cardigan after I returned from my trip to New York City where I  found it at Mood for $10 a yard and was very pleased with myself.  Well, there it was at Joanns for $5 a yard!  My guess is that the manufacturer way overproduced this and its going to be everywhere.

I don't usually visit this particular store because it is smaller than most stores and tends to cater quite a bit to the Amish and Mennonite that populate the area.  Bet they won't be grabbing this up.

GRRRRRR.  Has this happened to you?  Do you feel ripped off?

But the $5 a yard was too good to pass up and I bought this eye-crossing print. 

It looks great with this heavier weight charcoal knit. I am "taking" an on-line Craftsy class in how to make your own patterns from ready-to-wear and I may copy a top I have with this.

Some failures were just so dumb.  Little bags for my Etsy shop are usually a snap, but for some reason I seemed to get everything cock-eyed and crooked.  Top-stitching also gave me fits.

This is the only decent production for the week.
Love the way it matches the one climatis bloom.  There are a zillion buds that haven't opened yet. 
                              It has a recessed zipper. The lining color photographed way too bright. 
A matching zipper bag with lace and a bike on the other side

My plan is to make more stuff from this till the fabric is gone.  I have done this with other fabrics lately and have come up with some nice coordinating pieces and when its gone, its GONE which will help cut down on the fabric overflow.  And speaking of fabric overflow... 
A trip to Target today was rewarded with more storage.  I had those two shelves side by side and they were spilling over.  This cute little glass-doored cabinet was marked way down for clearance and they even gave me another 10% off for a mar in the finish. Even better, I did NOT have to assemble it.  

      I simply set one of the cases on top of it. Now I don't have to crouch down to see all my thread. Several bags of scraps were sacrificed because this is not ALL of the fabric in this room. Everything looks pretty organized...for now.