Friday, November 21, 2014

Piecing, Quilting, and a Favorite

There's an eclectic mix of sewing going on around here.
I just jumped onto the IG #haveyourselfamerrylittlechristmas
sew along hosted by @beelori1.
It started earlier this month, so I'm playing catch up, but
the blocks sew up very quickly so I plan to be caught up
with the group in a few days.
It's not too late if you want to get in on a 'piece' of the fun!

I'm also embarking on a quest to fill my bare living room
wall with mini quilts.

 Here's the first one of the bunch, all quilted and hung.
It measures a mere 11" x 14".
My second mini quilt is pieced, layered, pinned, and
waiting to be quilted.

Fabric is Pretty Potent by Anna Maria Horner 
 It's a 24" x 24" geometric pinwheel quilt.
See those cute little butterfly pins with the marshmallow-looking ends?

Fabric is Pretty Potent by Anna Maria Horner
Those are pinmoors, some of my favorite quilting notions.
They are used on the sharp end of the pin to prevent poking yourself.
Blood doesn't play nice with fabric!  LOL
If you're tired of pin pokes and fabric pulls,
check out your local quilt shop first, they just might carry them.
If not, just enter pinmoor in your search engine
and you'll find numerous online retailers from where
you can purchase this great notion.

Have a terrific weekend, my friends.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

DIY Hoop Art

When I was at #craftsouth in September,
we stitched up some moth designs.
On the left is an embroidery design by Heather Ross,
and on the right is a cross stitch design my Anna Maria Horner.

Rather than framing these two beauties,
I chose to hoop them.
That way I have options on how to display my stitchery.
They can be hung on the wall with nails, they can hang on hooks,
or . . .

they can be perched on a shelf or on hooks.

A piece of fabric from my stash hides the stitches on the back.
That just makes it neat and complete.

 Have a most excellent rest of the week, my friends, and stitch away!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Best Interfacing for Home Sewers (IMHO)

Current garment project:  wool skirt
Once in a while a product or tool comes along that adds a professional look to our sewing items.
Interfacing is one of those products.
It is necessary for preventing fabric from waving and folding and scrunching.
All of which make our hand-made items look homemade.

A selection of some of the interfacing offered at Fashion Sewing Supply

Today, I want to share with you all, my trusted source for professional-grade interfacing.
It is Fashion Sewing Supply located in New York.
Not only are their products top notch,
their customer service also exceeds expectations.
Ordinarily, I receive my order in under a week.
And on one of my past orders, unbeknownst to me,
one of the interfacings I ordered was going on sale the following week.
They discounted my interfacing to reflect the upcoming sale price
and they refunded the difference to my account.
What company does that?
Oh, and did I mention their interfacing is a whopping 60" (152 cm) wide?
Well, it is.  Unlike that skinny little stuff sold at the big box stores.
This one supports the waistband and pocket flaps on my wool skirt
The interfacing I'm using on my current garment is Pro-Sheer Elegance Medium.
It gives cuffs, collars, pocket flaps, and waistbands
shape and stability without stiffness.
It is different from the big name interfacing found in the big box stores. 
Can you see the fabric weave in that interfacing?
It is like adding a piece of supporting fabric,
rather than a stiff, paper-like substance, to your garment.
Fashion Sewing Supply interfacing is like the supporting actor to the lead character.
The primary is made a star by the support it receives from the secondary.

Silk organza press cloth
 Another Fashion Sewing Supply product that I'm sold on is their silk organza.
I've always read that the best press cloths are made from silk organza.
So, I decided to give it a shot.
The. Best. Press. Cloth.
So easy to use these beauties when pressing

I cut my press cloths to measure 18" x 22" (46 cm x 56 cm).
That's not press cloth law or anything, it's just the size that works best for me.
Cut your press cloth any size you wish.
That size just gives you a starting point.
Serge the edges or hem them with a double fold and you're good to go.
Your new press cloth should last you for years and years.

If you have an interfacing source you would like to share,
please leave a comment below.
Sewing choices are so individual, just like all of us.

Happy sewing, my friends.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall Sewing

I can't wait to wear those beautiful, new, green suede shoes.
The green plaid Pendleton wool (gifted from my friend, Linda)
sewn up in Simplicity 2475 will perfectly pair with those new shoes.

I adore suede shoes.
I coat them with a water repellent spray and they serve me well all fall and winter.

Am I the only one who buys shoes first, then sews the outfit to match?
Some may consider that a bit backwards.
It works for me.

There will be a capelet to match the skirt.
More on that later.

Have a terrific rest of the week, my friends.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Navy Wool Jacket

Yes, this is yet another version of Simplicity 2728!
The fabric is a fabulous Pendleton wool that was
gifted to me by my good friend, Linda.
As a matter of fact, Linda was kind enough to give
me a whole stack of Pendleton wools that she purchased
a number of years ago, but just doesn't have the time to sew.
Thank you so much Linda!!!
That wool was a dream to sew.
The white looking lines are not flaws in the material - it was raining!
I did add a few changes to this version.
One of those changes was the addition of sleeve heads.

Another change was to alter the pattern slightly to make the back hem
straight across rather than an inverted 'v' as the pattern is drafted.

The jacket is fully lined with navy bemberg rayon.

 As you can see by all the wrinkles,
I've worn this one a lot in the past couple weeks
and I've not yet had it dry cleaned.
So, wrinkled it is!
 The final change I made was to add the v-shaped pocket flaps.
Since I'm not a pocket fanatic, I didn't add pockets,
but the jacket was too plain without some kind of added dimension.
The pattern is drafted for a patch pocket,
which I thought was a bit too casual for this wool beauty.
So I dug into my pattern stash and came up with Butterick 5616.
I used the pocket flap pattern piece and
it's the perfect size for this jacket.
After sewing the top of the flap to the jacket,
I could tell it was going to flap around too much
and not stay flat against the jacket.
So I hand stitched the sides of the flap for about 1" on each side.
It worked like a charm.  :)
This jacket will serve me well throughout the winter.
It's a nice wardrobe basic that looks just as great
with jeans as it does with a skirt.
Until next time, my friends . . .

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tailoring Basics: Sleeve Heads

Sleeve with shoulder pad and sleeve head
Hello, hello, sewing friends.  Today's post addresses a tailoring basic - sleeve heads.
I must confess, I have never added sleeve heads to any of my lined jackets.
For a number of years, shoulder pads went the way of the buffalo,
but just like the buffalo, they are making a resurgence.
I like shoulder pads.
And yes, I understand that sleeve heads are different from shoulder pads.
But IMHO, a shoulder pad could be the catalyst that requires the addition of a sleeve head.
*Disclaimer* that is not sewing law, just one blogging sewist's opinion 
When used in conjunction with one another, the sleeve pair complete the shoulder look.
Sleeve with shoulder pad, but no sleeve head
In some garments, the sleeve 'droops' or falls down at the seam line where it meets the bodice.
In the above photo, you can see a definite drop from the shoulder pad to the seam line.
The sleeve head serves to lift up and give stability to the sleeve cap.

Inside view of sleeve head
 To make my sleeve head I used cotton/poly batting because that's what I had on hand.
I traced the shoulder portion of the sleeve pattern between the two dots,
and the method I used to determine the sleeve head depth was
"meh, that looks good!"    :)
The sleeve head is sewn into the sleeve cap following along the seam line
that attached the sleeve to the body.

If you want to give your fall jacket a polished finish, consider adding sleeve heads.
Emma One Sock has a nice tutorial with photos included.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Let's Celebrate!

President Ronald Reagan recognized the "importance of home sewing to our Nation" in 1982.
Click here to access free projects and information about this month-long celebration.

If you are in the local Utah area, send me an email
and we can design a sewing class tailored to your specific goals.

Sew on, friends!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Layer Cake Quilt

As of late, I've been showing a friend how to quilt.
She already knows how to sew, but is new to quilting.
We each started with a layer cake.
That's a pre-cut 10" x 10" collection of fabric.
We cut up our layer cake to make new pieces of cake.
What better way to learn to piece than by simply cutting 10" squares in half
and sewing the halves to a different half to create an entirely new whole?
I'm sure those who don't quilt, find it quite baffling and redundant that
quilters would cut up perfectly good fabric so they can
sew it back together to make new fabric!
The fabric line is Vintage Happy by Lori Holt for Riley Blake.
For the back, I just used some yellow Kona
and I added a strip of the Riley Blake green floral print.
At a finished size of approximately 45" x 65",
it fit great on my quilt frame, so I went with it.
I bought a couple quilt rulers a few months back,
but haven't had the opportunity to use them until now.
I chose to stipple quilt the rows with the pieced blocks,
but the sashing in between each row is quilted with a double zig zag.
I'm sold on ruler work using a short arm machine on a quilt frame.
Yay!  Watch for more ruler quilting on future projects.
The solid backing shows off the quilting nicely.
My embroidery machine came in handy for adding a label to the back.
Do you send your quilts out to be quilted,
or do you quilt them yourself?
I look forward to your feedback.
Please share in the comment section below.
Stay tuned, I hope to have a tutorial up in the near future on how to make this quilt.
And, remember, if you are in the local Utah area,
I offer personalized, beginning sewing/quilting lessons.
I would love to design a lesson plan with you to help
you accomplish your sewing goals.
Just send me an email or leave a comment below.
Now go cut apart perfectly good fabric so you can stitch it back
together again and make beautiful soft goods for your home,
your friends, and your family.
Have a blessed week, my friends.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Easy and Free Children's Tank Pattern

Hey sewists!
If you're in the market for a late summer tank
for a near and dear kiddo,
might I suggest this one from Fishsticks Designs.
The pattern is free, yes that's right, free!
Not only that, but it also comes in sizes 12 months all the way up to kids 14.
And, you don't even have to trace the pattern once you download it to your computer.
Just print off the size you need.  All sizes are individually included.
How great is that!
My littlest grand one is 2 1/2 yrs.
I made the 4T and it fits perfectly.
Of course, he's no delicate little flower.
I call him Tank!!!
Befitting that I make a tank for my Tank.
The Fishsticks pattern line includes boys and girls designs.
I will definitely be purchasing some patterns for future sewing.
Have a fabulous end of week.