Wednesday, December 24, 2014

"Back in the Saddle"- Tailoring my son's suit, a testimony.

I am excited to get back in the "saddle" with the suit for my son.  I know, it's been almost three months since I last worked on the jacket, or the pants for that matter.  "Man!, talk about procrastination!!".  This is why having someone help nudge you along is important.  Here's to having a fun, caring "online" sewing community.
These people are ones to keep me motivated and also, hold me accountable.  At first I thought it would be terrible to post an incomplete project with status updates.  "What happens if I don't finish it when I say?"  At first, I felt I would be stressed and have a lot of guilt or be crucified by the evil demons of the  "WorldWideWeb!"  Thanks to Faye's progress updates on her coat, The Mahogany Stylist's encouragement, and Andrea of Knit-Knac I am back at it now.  And guess what, I don't feel bad.  With the gentle nudging of a few, I actually feel inspired to keep plugging along.
He was so tired when we did his fitting.  
EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES!!!  Yes, there was a good reason I didn't have it finished by now.  Here are just a few of the hurdles I have been faced with along the way:
  1. I ran out of fabric for the pants waistband...sooooooo, I had to create a new design detail.  You will never know where, and I will never show you a picture.  (It took me a while to recover and trouble shoot that hangup.
  2. When I completed the front lapel facing, I forgot to make a waist seam to match the front for the seamed buttonhole which sits at the waist.  Soooooo....I will be creating a bound-type buttonhole backing for this area.
  3. The lining was to be a rayon bemberg, but it was just to lightweight, so I had to order the proper "mens" suit lining from B.Black and Sons.  Now, it is so much better, and weightier, much more suitable for a mens suit.  The red is piping.
    Piping is complete for the lining and back facing.
  4. The big one::: I am working on "THE WEDDING DRESS" for my son's finance.  The wedding is in June 2015.   (This isn't the wedding dress.  This is one I made back in 1986. I just thought you would see the importance.)
    My sisters Prom dress in 1986.
  5. And, I do sew for others, and because of that, it really is hard to focus the kind of attention to tailoring menswear, when your brain is being pulled from one project to another in short order.  I just don't know how "short order" cooks do it.
  6. Of course I had to take interim breaks from the "work" sewing along the way and make a few quick things for myself.  This Watson Bra set (not blogged yet)...,
    A cardigan (which I hate), some StyleArc Cassie pants, and of course I had to finish my StyleArc Amber top for a party.  Oh, yeah my shrug tutorial.  I did a whole lot of other stuff, but you don't want to read about all of it, do you?
  7. These StyleArc pants are a blog post all to themselves!!!  They wore me completely out!!! I hate bengaline fabric y'all!!!
He really is happy in this picture.  He tries not to smile whenever I come around with my camera.
Moving forward, these are the things still remaining before I can get this fine wearable to my baby boy.

To Do List:

  • Shaping and pad stitching of the lapel, roll line and front, (est. 3-4 hours if I'm lucky)
  • install inside breast pocket (est. 1-2hours, if I'm not distracted.)
  • Collars and buttonholes (est time:  "I DON'T KNOW!")
  • Set-in sleeves of body and lining (est. 1-2 hours)
  • Shoulder pads (1 hour maybe)
  • Sew in the lining and hem- by hand!  (est. time: 1-2 hours because my hand hurts when I do hand stitching, so I have to take lots of breaks.)
  • I guess he will get the pants in January, or in time for Easter.  LOL.
Did I say this young man is really patient with me!!  I LOVE this BOY of mine.  

Monday, December 22, 2014

DIY Last-Minute Holiday Party Shrug Project by your's truly is up on the Bernina Website!!!

I'm excited to bring to you my first DIY tutorial to make a shrug for the holidays or just to go over your favorite tank top or strapless dress. 

 DIY Last-Minute Holiday Party Shrug Project

Go to the WeAllSew website for complete details and instructions to make the DIY Shrug before your holiday party.
DIY Holiday Party Shrug Tutorial by (Back)
I have had the dress for about 9 years, but since it has a cut out sleeveless bodice, it wasn't always feasible to wear for every event I had wanted to attend.  My inspiration for this project came when I was trying to figure out a way to combine the idea of a lace cape and an infinity scarf as a coverup.  
DIY Holiday Party Shrug Tutorial by
I really hope you enjoy the tutorial, and will give it a try.

Until next time...stay sharp.

Biking Down Memory Lane...a non-sewing post.

I have been feeling kind of nostalgic lately, whilst updating picture albums and working on my scrapbooking projects.  Sorting pictures and seeing all the fun times really makes me warm and fuzzy inside.
My sister treated me to a vacation in San Francisco a couple years back during December.  I was so excited to actually see all the wonderful things that San Francisco is known for, especially the "Golden Gate Bridge", which I discovered was not golden....duh!!!  Anyway, we had the opportunity to ride bikes across this beautiful bridge and experience it up close and personal.  
Sis is trying to control her  She was too short for the smallest bike.
We rode "electric" bikes on a tour of the side of the city to the bridge and across.  Of course you are forbidden from using "powered" devices on the bridge....but, every once and a while, we did hit the power button to give us a little push.  That was work riding all that way.
Based on the tour guides comments, we were really lucky to visit during a time where there was absolutely NO Fog to interfere with our view and the grander of it all.  I understand that San Francisco, especially the bay area, is prone to extreme fog/smog and so seeing the top of the bridge is a sight not even locals enjoy often during this time of year.
Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco, CA
We did complete tours of all the city had to offer, along with other areas outside the city, including visiting the wine country of Napa Valley.  This is where I realized I was actually interested in knowing and understanding wine, and learning how to drink it properly.
I was so intrigued with the whole process, that I even became a "club" member, and now receive regular wine shipments!!  OOOh I feel so "grown up!"  
Madonna Estates Winery Napa Valley, CA
I hope you have enjoyed this small trip down memory lane with me as I work on loading my online scrapbook in prep for all the upcoming sales that will be happening on Shutterfly after Christmas.  I'll be ready to press checkout as soon as the sales emails come rolling into my email box.
Alcatraz Prison, Alcatraz Island, CA
Touring Alcatraz prison.
I personally have only done one small digital photo book in the past.  This will be my first large scale project.  I want to give one to my sister for the entire trip.  I'm curious to know what type of scrapbooking you all or hardcopy?

Monday, December 15, 2014

My first Video Pattern Review: The StyleArc Amber Top...

Okay, now this is when you will really know whether what I have to share is worth your time.  Will you last to the end of the video?  Will you fall asleep less than halfway into the saga...or will you be so enthralled with the material that you are asking for more by the end of the first taping?

Red sequin Christmas top by (StyleArc Amber Woven Top)
Lights!!! Camera!! ACTION!!!
(For those of you who just hate hearing my voice, or don't have time to watch the video..a short pattern review snippet is at the bottom.)  Thanks for your support.  
Be kind y'all, because I had a lot of fun doing this video.  Way more fun than I had actually constructing the top.  Well, actually, thats a lie..cause I really like dealing with details.  I just get moody at times, and put things away for indefinite lengths of time.  Until, one day, I ran across it and realize this was something I actually wanted at some point or another.
sewing sequins on the Red sequin Christmas top by (StyleArc Amber Woven Top)
I was taking time to clear my photo files, trying to clean my computer, when I came across this picture....What is this? my question to myself.  Where did I hide it?  Who was it intended for?  Shoot!! I didn't even remember I had been working on something so pretty.  I checked the date on the picture...JUNE! you say.  What?  Now, I remember!  
Red sequin Christmas top by (StyleArc Amber Woven Top)
Side seams undone, bust darts badly located. A UFO!! Why did I not finish this?  The video will explain it all.  I hope you enjoy the lessons therein. 

Pattern Review:
Red sequin Christmas top by (StyleArc Amber Woven Top)

StyleArc Amber Woven Top has decorative overlay on neckline and down center front with optional piping color block.  
Fabric:  Polyester for the body, ponte knit covered with plastic squares that look like sequins from afar.

I cut a size 14, but it was way too big in the waist, so I needed some sort of dart shaping to make it not look so boxy.  After finishing the top, I had to go back and insert a zipper and several darts to get it to fit nicely.  

I really don't have a clue what style or body this top would look good on the way it is cut, without using a knit.  I just does not do the body any justice.

After an exposed zipper and some darts...this is one my most beautiful holiday tops.  Well, actually, my only holiday top.  So you may see this one more than once before the end of the year.

Friday, December 12, 2014

StyleArc: The Cassie Pants

If you want a new take on the boring leggings...these pants would be them.  I'm always looking to get a cute design detail, something out of the norm.  
StyleArc cassie pants by using bengaline fabric from Hancock
The fabric was this new stuff that has been showing up all over the place, "Bengaline" sold by StyleArc, JoAnns and also Hancock.  I got mine at Hancock.  It really is extremely stretchy.  Not easy to topstitch if you go across the "grain" or across the direction of the stretch.
Texans Fan wearing StyleArc cassie pants by using bengaline fabric from Hancock
This fabric is so new to me.  It takes some getting used to, in order to stable on the different cross seams and topstitching.  I'm really not too fond of it right now.  But, we shall see.  I got a little more for some other projects.
Texans Fan wearing StyleArc cassie pants by using bengaline fabric from Hancock
I know you couldn't wait to see the back!!!  That is the main reason we read about peoples pants see if the butt fits.  LOL...yes, me too, I have no shame.
Texans Fan wearing StyleArc cassie pants by using bengaline fabric from Hancock
I cut the size 16, but the waist again, as has been with the last 3 pair of stylearc, had to be taken up by 6 inches.  These things are drafted for juniors or something, to have the waist measurement so close to the hip measurement.  I don't understand.  
Texans Fan wearing StyleArc cassie pants by using bengaline fabric from Hancock
The pattern is your basic leggings, but cut with the front and back which has the side seam...not the quick version.  The knee is sewn with a couple pleats on the outer and inner seam to give it the padded look.  I had to sew out most of the ease.  However, I could do too much, I had to leave the pants slightly loose, otherwise, I would not be able to walk because of the cross seaming over the legs and knees.
Texans Fan wearing StyleArc cassie pants by using bengaline fabric from Hancock
I may make them again after a tad bit more tweaking in the legs.  The back leg seam cuts into my leg, and the calf section is too tight.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Rotary Cutter Safety Tips

Rotary cutter safety tips.

1. DONOT cut with your free hand in front of the blade.
2. Take your time and don't rush.
3. Always cut with your eyes open.
4. DONOT cut and text!!!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Workroom safety habits are key!!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Renfrew once again. My favorite "T"

I did an inventory of my wardrobe and found that nice t-shirts and button downs comprise the majority of my separates.  Well, nice to me...I don't actuall have lace ones just test..but that's on the burner.
Renfrew top by
So, I went to my studio to rectify the problem and this is what I came up with. another Renfrew. Go figure.
sewaholic renfrew top by
In my own defense, I settled with the fact that this version, view "C" has a cool collar.
... a different sleeve length. Lol. Does it help that it can be used as a hoodie if I were trying to protect the hair?
Renfrew top by
After I get my fill of t-shirts and button downs, we shall see where I go from here.  I am truly a creature of habit.

In the meantime another button down is in the works... This next one will be in a really luxurious, buttery  stretch 4-ply silk.
I have made it already for a Christmas gift and really LOVE it.  I used a poly georgette from Hancock.
Until next time, keep sewing.