Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wicked days call for wicked shoes......

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Vogue 8603

I was waylaid in my quest to stitch up that stack of new clothes from the cutathon... I threw another jacket into the mix but came back to work on this skirt (this is how UFO's are created...). I really like the skirt, hard to tell from the photo, it may be more flattering with a shorter top tucked in, it is waist flattering. I needed to take it in some and decided to take more off the center front panel to do so - I think this gives the panel (and hence the body) a slimmer look, closer vertical lines.... I think the cf panel looks big even the very slim straight model on pattern photo. The weave of this raw silk creates something of a horizontal "line" effect so the gathered portions of the side panels create a somewhat bias look - would be interesting in a narrow stripe.
I'd say something wonky happened to the lower back gathered panel, looks like it's sticking out in photo at right... the hem is actually even from ground, but I think a combination of the fabric being somewhat stiff and a couple areas where the gathering became something of a pleat (since rrrrripppped and restitched) was the cause. Other ideas?
This pattern will definitely be made up again, went together quickly and easily yet can be very sophisticated or casual depending on fabric.

Monday, March 29, 2010


My favorite sewing time is just sitting relaxing in front of the machine stitching away. I'm fortunate to have a beautiful view which makes it all the better. I used to love cutting a new project, the anticipation of what was to become... I think the enormous fabric stash makes the experience less unique than when I purchased just one piece.... perhaps two... at a time! So yesterday I decided to have a cutfest and get several projects ready. Still have linings to cut (I do still like cutting fashion fabric... but NOT lining! It's just... kind of boring. And it's not another new garment! Anyone else think like this?).

Two skirts which can go business or business casual or the black/white floral casual for summer, Vogue 8603 and Simplicity 2475. The black/natural raw silk for the Vogue pattern (short view) was part of a bagfull of fabric treasures from a good friend. I love fabric gifts, adds sentimental value to what you're wearing! And last, a suit from this 1996 Vogue Karl Lagerfeld pattern (yes I am trimming back that scarey upper collar!). A basic boring black wool lycra blend with very subtle pintstripes, I think with the intricate antique looking silver oxidized buttons it will be conservative yet unique at the same time. I'm not sure where the pattern photo will appear... I am still working at mastering text/photo placement on blogger and it's always a surprise!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The BEST Gifts!

Are the unexpected ones!

My dear friend received the purple quilt yesterday, along with a lovely apron I made to match her kitchen - blue faux suede embroidered with Chinese lettering/saying, with blue/white floral oriental brocade pockets matching reverse side.
Always appreciative of the effort someone gives even if a gift isn't "just right", she was elated. And she truly appreciates the irony behind the quilt. I felt as if I were doing battle each time I sat down to quilt that baby... yet at the same time there was an element of relaxation and satisfaction as I saw it come together. I am so glad I did it and decided to give it to her!

When you stash too long...

So you stashed a great piece of fabric waiting until you found just the right pattern/design... the right season... completion of the holiday gifts... the dress you needed for a wedding was done... the repairs and needs of other family members... the right job so you wouldn't make something you'd never wear anyway...

And now -- you're not seeing that fabric around anymore! Uh oh. Did you miss the window of fashion opportunity? If you sew it up - fast - will you be a fashion "don't"? Or still right in style having adapted an aged piece to a current fashion? Is it old enough that you can call it vintage?

Or do you just relegate it back to the stash and wait to see it coming back "in" again and be ahead of the curve?

Seriously, what do you do? I have a piece at least 15 yrs. old that will be right in style right now, but a couple of others that SHOULD have been made last year... now those are the really tricky ones!

What would you do?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Some days it's better to just keep away from the machine...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

If I do this correctly... there will be three photos of a sweater I made from a beautiful wool sweater knit with denim "strips" embedded. I haven't worn it in awhile but remembered it during a discussion on embellishing machines. I am always asked if I made the fabric... I bet something similar could be created with these machines! It appears that there is random pintucking as well in the base sweater fabric, there is actually no pintucking but rather the weave to have the "raised" or "pintucked" effect. The denim is very thready for lack of better description, i.e. rather than strips of solid denim it appears what may have started as strips could have been frayed then couched/embedded as part of the weaving process. I think if I were to try this I would cut strips, stitch a row of straight stitching down center, fringe, then perhaps wash/dry to beat it up some. On the photo of the wrong side of the fabric we really just see threads peeping through. It's this kind of fabric .... serious texture that makes me HAVE to reach out and touch ... that is truly irresistable! What can't you resist?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Almost done.... it just keeps going and going and going....

Monday, February 22, 2010

The purple quilt.... is virtually done, the layers just need to be quilted together. I am not a "true" quilter and this was just turned/flipped. I have realized how my tendancy to procrastinate rears its ugly head most when it's a task I don't want to do or - as in this case - am afraid will not turn out "just like it looks in my imagination", as my dear daughter said years ago when she was much younger and feared a new dress or project I was going to make her would not match the image in her head. But I've practiced the free motion work and am ready to take it on, finish it up, and send it to my dear childhood friend (who I met on my 10th birthday - what a gift!) Jackie.... who loves anything purple and has no idea it is coming her way ;)

Meanwhile I've had the pleasure of being in the San Francisco area visiting my daughter at school the last few days. What a gift it is when your kid asks you to stay longer to hang out more!!! The gift of the layoff is that - I can. So off we were to the fabric store yesterday and today I am a "slave" (with pleasure) to the sewing machine (my dear old Pfaff which she was given for her 21st birthday in fall, how handy to have a great machine on hand to sew on while visiting!) to whip out her new tops. After our mother/daughter photo session.
What a great belated Valentine's gift!


Monday, February 8, 2010


I love fabric. But like chocolate, it's a selective love....
As discussed previously, texture possesses a magnetism stronger than color, fiber, etc.
So while the colors are lovely and the process of simple strip quilting relaxing, the texturally lacking cotton prints are less than stimulating. Perhaps in an interestingly seamed pocketed yoked fly zipped summer skirt this wouldn't be such a yawn...
But I have taken this on, as a confirmed non quilter, and hope to finish today or tomorrow to send off to a dear friend as an unexpected gift. The top is nearly done... but then... I need to quilt. It's when the project grows massive in size (literally) that it becomes unwieldly and I lose interest.
I admire the dedication and creativity of the many quilt artisans out there, and while it's an art and talent I appreciate, particularly the fact that these artists are instrumental in keeping the sewing industry alive, I shall be greatly relieved when this is done and I can indulge in something more (personally) rewarding like uncooperative knits, bound buttonholes, bindings, tweedy wool jackets with trimmings, etc. !
Do you sew anything you don't love?