I love sewing--any form of needle and thread makes me happy.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Work on the Floral Block Continues.

I'm still working on the Crazy Quilt Floral Block.  Here's another unit that's finished:

The center motif is an applique.  The seam on the left side is fly stitch with French knots.  The seam on the right is herringbone with pearl beads.  Above you can see a peek of lace with buttonhole stitch, sequins anchored by seed beads, and the lace is topped off with chain stitch.

The center unit is still giving me fits.  I've sewn a motif there, but it's crying out for more.  So more thought into that one and some seam treatments on one more unit and it's done.

Quilting:  I've started on the stars for the Friendship Stars Quilt from Craftsy.  So many half-square triangles to cut and press and square up before I can even begin sewing with them!  Goodness!  That got tedious quick.  Now I'm sewing again so all is good.

Garment sewing:  Miss this so much.  I'm nearly to the end of my quilt thread bobbin.  May take the opportunity to switch out threads and stitch up that dress.  It's a fairly quick sew and would keep me  and my sewing "fresh".  I'm also in need of a finished project and this would provide that.

'til next time!
Cathy 

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Just a Note of Progress

It's been 2 weeks, and I didn't want to lose touch.  There has been some progress in the sewing room.

Quilting:  I mentioned in the last post I'm taking a beginner quilting class on Craftsy: Start Up Library: Quilting with Christa Watson.  Well, I'm finding it very informative and easy to follow along.  It is very rudimentary, which I like, and takes you through the processes step by step.  The teacher is very engaging and shares lots of tips not in the extensive class materials.  A more experience quilter could probably do this quilt from just the class materials.  So far, I've completed the 12 chain blocks.


Next up are the star blocks.  Really looking forward to those.

Crazy quilting:  This is something that I do in the evenings while relaxing with my husband.  I work quite a few nights so I don't tend to make very fast progress with this.  I have finished one motif I'm pleased with that did take a lot of time.



I used outline stitch, French knots for the center and beads scattered over the flowers.  I'm still working on this piece. An inspiration for the large blank center section has yet to hit.  Pinterest has yielded several possibilities if I change them a bit to suit this.

Garment sewing:  I have cut out a dress in a scuba fabric with a geometric design.  I probably won't actually stitch it up, though, until the quilt is pieced.  By then, I'll want to change gears for while and I don't like having UFOs.

I keep reading these amazing goals other bloggers post for 2019.  I admire them so much as they are posting some pretty heavy sewing goals and from their past sewing exploits these goals are attainable or near-attainable.  I don't really set goals much.  I have joined the 50-yard Dash (a stash reduction of  50 yards in 2019) and the Fabric Fast (sew from stash with only mindful purchases during the year) on Pattern Review's Forum.  These were very encouraging for me last year.  I'm hoping  they'll be more so this year.  I got so close with the 50-yard Dash in 2018--47 yards with several months of no sewing activity that I know I can do it this year.  Other than these two goals, I'd like to become adept at quilting this year.  Perhaps enough so to tackle one of Mom's quilts.

I wish you good luck with your sewing in 2019 and with meeting your sewing goals, too.

Til next time,

Cathy

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

It's Been A Long Hiatus

I know it's been a terribly long time since I've posted.  We lost my father-in-law to a massive stroke this summer and then my mother passed this autumn.  The two losses have left me rather depressed and unable to sew or participate in many sewing activities.  I still peeked in on my favorite blogs and on Pattern Review but rarely left comments.  But now I've begun to dabble once again and have begun to feel energized and creative once more.

Just a few days ago Renee at Hand Stitched Treasure  posted about Kathy Shaw's Crazy Quilt Classes.  I took the very beginner's class earlier this year.  It was so much fun!  It covers a lot basic of stitches and techniques at your own pace using materials you download as you complete each task of the sampler.   You don't have to do it exactly like hers, as shown in mine.  You choose the colors of fabric and threads/silk ribbon, and emblishments. She has several classes available throughout the year.  Link to Kathy's site is here.  Here's a photo of my sampler:




I've gone on to sew another block on my own .








The flower in the center is hand embroidered using a pattern from a source I no longer remember.  Oh those gray hairs!  I realize now after reading some books, that the doily in the corner is probably a mistake as it will make that seam very lumpy when/if I get it sewn together with other blocks.

In other sewing news, my mother was an award-winning quiltmaker.  She left 2 quilts unfinished.  One just needs the quilting and the binding.  The other is still in the piecing stage.  My sisters, one of who is a beginning sewer, decided that since I've done a couple of small wallhangings, I'm  am an expert too. They elected me to finish these two quilts.  I'm completely self-taught and my work is passable at  best.  I'm so intimidated by this project!  I don't want to mess it up.  I'm taking a beginner quilt class on Craftsy hoping to fill in the gaps in my education.  So far I've cut out the fat quarters and need to cut the background fabric now.  Just need a chunk of time to do it.

So, I'm quite invigorated by all the new things I'm learning and that the sewing mojo is back again. A big thank you to all those wonderful sewists I follow for your inspiration and the lessons I've learned  just by following your work.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Jane Austin Project-- So It Begins.

It's that time again--The 10th Annual Jane Austen Festival takes place on the 2nd weekend in July in Louisville.  Daughter Anna and I had such a good time last year, we're attending again this year.  This year's theme is Persuasion.  In preparation, we're both re-reading Persuasion, Anna's favorite Austen book, and I'm sewing new costumes for the both of us.

I'm off to a rather slow start.  I wanted to do Anna's first, but I have yet to knuckle that girl down for her current measurements.  I'm trying to make stays this year, too, so the measurements are critical.  So I began at the beginning--the chemise for me.


I'm using Sense and Sensibility's Regency Underthings Pattern.  I love these patterns.  They come in a full range of sizes, 6-26, in one envelope.  The instructions are usually easy to follow, too.  The pattern pieces, though hand-drawn are on thick paper with very bold lines for tracing ease. 


As you can see, this is a very simple garment to construct.   It has a drawstring closure at the front neck; I used a pretty, narrow satin ribbon for the drawstring.   The sleeves are simply rectangles.  These are then closed and attached to the gown with a gusset.


I've never sewn a gusset before, or seen one in a garment other than in photos, so this was my head scratcher with this project.  It took several tries to get it right.  Finally looked at the pictures of the finished gusset and how it was situated then it made sense.

The fabric is a very thin voile from Fabric.com.  You can see Zelda's padding through it but it is going to be mid-July after all.   Temps are already hot and humid here and due to get hotter.  Next up are the stays.  This is my first effort at any kind of corset work so it should be interesting.  It has 3 layers of fabric, boning, and some kind of eyelet holes.   I'm intimidated but forging ahead.  Will keep you posted.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Lace Tunic -- Simplicity 8016

There are so many cute lace tunics out there, I finally decided it was time to make one!  Simplicity 8016 was in my pattern stash and it even shows view A as a lace tunic!  The black stretch lace (from Fabric Mart)  was already in my stash, too.  A plan was in motion.



The pattern has lots of sizing options ranging from XXS to XXL in one envelope--I made the size XL. I didn't care for where the sleeve ended so I borrowed the lower sleeve band from View D.  Folding it over and tapering it made it the perfect length.




The neckline is finished with very narrow black bias binding.  I like the neat finish it gives the neck.  I used the same bias binding for the hem treatment, too.




I love how it looks with different colored camisoles under it.  This turquoise is my favorite.  I really like it with my black one, too.  This was such an easy project.  I'll definitely be looking at this pattern again!  So many cute tops in it!






Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Playing a Little Catch Up: Simplicity 8059, Burda 6501.

Well, its been quite busy this past 2 weeks here.  I didn't get quite as much sewing done as I had hoped for Faye's Tops That Pop Sew-A-Long. In fact,  wasn't able to get them sewn and pictures taken in time to participate at all.  Boo-Hoo!  Do check out the blog and the Pinterest board, though to see all the great tops that did get sewn!

First up was Simplicity 8059. view C the duster.   I needed a pattern with nice, simple lines to show off this great crochet sweater knit.  The make things a little more complicated, I only bought 2 yards of it from Fabric Mart limiting my options more.  Simplicity 8059 actually requires 2 and 3/4 yards but I'm much shorter than it's designed for.  After shortening 5 inches at the hem, and using a 1 and 1/2 inch hem you see it comes to knee level on my 5'3" frame in the large size.


There was just enough fabric to match the stripes.  I also omitted the back waist elastic treatment.  I felt with this fabric it would be clinging since its a knit instead of the woven that the pattern called for and be unnecessary.


The elastic casing would have been difficult to apply to this crochet-like sweater knit.  As it was it was very touchy to work with.  It really wanted to fray where cut.  It needed as little handling as possible and the serger to finish the seams.  I top-stitched the front facing  down as a feature and used some scraps of navy blue jersey for the ties.  It's been a great transition piece for our cool spring. 

The second piece I got done was Burda 6501, view C--a sleeveless, bias top with a ruffle hem.  




I didn't check the length on this before I cut it out.  It looks like a tunic on me and looks high-hip length on the pattern.  I'm not sure What I think about this length yet.  I may shorten it later.  It's in a navy blue cotton voile from Fashion Fabrics.  Cotton is always such a palate cleanser after a tricky fabric  This is a navy blue cotton voile from Fashion Fabrics.  It was such a pleasure to work with.  I didn't check the length of the pattern against me before a stitched it up though.  On me, it a low-hip tunic length.  The pattern photo shows a high-hip length top.  I'm still on the fence about the length.  the conscientious sewer in me wants to take it apart, shorten it, then re-attach the ruffle, while the lazy stitcher in me says it's ok.  We'll see after a wear or two which wins out. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Going Camping in Vogue 9205

Last month, I mentioned that Hubs and I were going on a camping trip soon.  I made a new shirt for both of us.  Then, the vacation got cancelled.  We were so disappointed but I still have the 2 tops for the next trip.

I made mine using Vogue 9205, a pattern I used before in the black wool/lycra.   Last time I made up this pattern I had trouble with the pleats  on front.  I didn't pay attention and sewed them up as darts.  So much work with the seam ripper!  This time things went so smoothly!


I used some active wear fabric by Judy P Apparel from Fabric Mart.  This is such great stuff.  It has a beefier feel than most active wear does and a tremendous recovery.  It would make great yoga pants.  I'm hoping it has wicking properties, although Fabric Mart did not state that for this fabric, they did for another piece in her collection that I got about a year ago.

Adjustments: there were quite a few this time.  The last top was rather more of a tunic than I wanted for this one.  So, for this top, I shortened the waist 1 inch, shortened the hem 2 inches and did a 3/4 inch narrow shoulder adjustment.  I'm 5'3" tall.  I think I got a much better fit this time around.  This is also the short sleeve version as opposed to the long sleeve version last time.


The pleats came out so nicely and are so easy to do.  They really add a lot of interest to a plain t-shirt.


With the side view you can see that it hugs the body without clinging tightly.  I'm also trying to work on my posture.  I've noticed in the past few pictures, that my shoulders are trying to roll forward.  Too much computer time probably. :)  This pattern is a definite winner and I'm sure I'll have more in the future.

You may have noticed a new badge in my side bar for the Tops That Pop Sew-A-Long.  This is hosted by Faye of Faye's Sewing Adventure.  It runs from April 15 to April 30.  The goal is to sew as many tops as you like and post them either on her blog or Instagram.  If you don't follow Faye, she's a fun blogger that makes great clothes; her coats are especially wonderful.  So, if you need a jumpstart to your spring sewing, this is a great place to find it and a warm, fun host to cheer you on!  I hope you'll join in!