Monday, July 30, 2018

Give Pink a Chance!

I rarely wear pink.  In fact, I can barely count on one hand the number of items in my wardrobe with pink in them.  And it's a really silly reason why I don't wear pink.  Here goes - truth time!

A number of years ago, there was a lady at my work that only wore pink.  Everyday.  Every item. Every accessory.  Everything.  In fact, I don't think she owned a color other than pink.  I think she would have dyed her hair pink too, but it was before the days of bright, colorful hair.  I got so sick of seeing pink everyday, that I refused to wear it.  The lady has long since left my work and it's about time I should give pink a chance again so here we go!

This is Vogue 8553, made from a knit print I recently purchased from Girl Charlee Fabrics.

Here's a close-up of the print:

This is my funny face photo day.  Could be because of our air quality - just look at the smoke in the background.  We currently have the Carr fire burning to the north of us and the Yosemite fire burning to the south of us, and we are getting smoke from both of them.

Another funny face...  I paired the print with some black knit I had in the stash and I also added the band around the waistline.  The pattern only has the bands along the bodice front and neckline, but I wanted to add one to the waist to see what it would look like.  Not too shabby I think!

This version is certainly better than my last one, which coincidentally, was posted to the blog exactly one year ago today!  How strange is that?!?!?  I ended up giving the last dress to Goodwill.

I think my first version is still my favorite though, although this is coming in a close second. I made the first one back in May of 2016 and it is still in regular rotation in the wardrobe.

That's it for me today but of course, I can't leave without the latest stashbustin' stats!

Latest Stashbustin' Stats:

Yardage for this dress = 2.625 yards
YTD yards sewn = 56.875 yards
Remaining yardage to reach 100 yard goal = 43.125 yards

Happy sewing everyone!


Friday, July 20, 2018

Simplicity 1884

This Simplicity dress is made from a crazy print knit that I purchased at the Sewing Garage Sale earlier this year.  I knew I wanted a simple style with no darts to avoid breaking up the already crazy lines on the print.  I paired the fabric with some plain black for the neckband and optional tie and there you go - a pretty simple sew.

I don't think I like it with the tie though - it interrupts the print too much I think.

Again, I think it looks better without the tie....
It took me a little while to lay out this simple pattern because I didn't want that large square/triangle looking print to land on a bad spot so I opted to place it along the waistline.  Much better than placing on the booty....

That's it for today.  I can't look at these pics too long because they make my eyes go crossed with that print!

Latest Stashbustin' Stats:

Yardage for this dress = 1.5 yards
YTD yards sewn = 54.25 yards
Remaining yardage to reach 100 yard goal = 45.75 yards

Happy sewing everyone!


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Kielo #2 and my T-shirt test pattern

Here is my 2nd version of the Named Patterns Kielo Wrap dress.  This is made from a knit purchased recently from Fabric Mart fabrics on-line.

The knit is on the thicker side and it has a small fish-eye type print on it.  Looks like a solid from the distance though.  I just loved the color when I saw it on-line.  Sorry for the chesty shot, but you can see the print design on it. 

Back view...

Yep - I really like this pattern!  Maybe a shorter version for my next one?

I had some fabric leftover from the dress so I decided to try out the Kwik Sew 2900 t-shirt pattern.  The July/August challenge for the Make a Garment a Month group is to work on two garments that work together and are needed in your wardrobe.  What I learned with Me-Made-May this year is that I don't have many plain/casual clothes for the weekends so I need just some basics in my wardrobe.  I wanted to start by just making a few basic t-shirts. So here's the t-shirt pattern without any changes - in a size small:

The shoulder area fits well and it could use a little shaping on the sides

The neckband is too wide and it's droops a little bit.  For my next version, I will make the band about half of it's current size.  

And I don't care for the sleeve length.  For the next version, I will shorten the sleeves about 2 inches.

Otherwise, I think it fits fairly well.  Again, this knit is a little on the thicker side so a thinner knit would hang better.  Onto the next one...

Latest Stashbustin' Stats:

Yardage for the Kielo dress = 3 yards
Yardage for the t-shirt = 1.5 yards
YTD yards sewn = 52.75 yards
Remaining yardage to reach 100 yard goal = 47.25 yards

Happy sewing everyone!


Monday, July 16, 2018

2nd Quarter goals update

Here we are, half way thru July and I'm just posting where I'm at with my yearly goals.  So just a quick update today on my progress so far thru 2nd quarter:

Garments to tackle:
Jeans - Done!
Pants - Will be starting these very soon.
- Something reversible
Sew more Burda patterns

Using up the stash:
- Sew 100 yards this year - In process! Currently at 48.25 yards sewn.
Sort thru scraps - Done!
Sort thru all of my current stash.  Add all of the remaining pieces to the "Cora" app. - Done!

- Track how much fabric I use/buy. - In process!
- Track spending. - In process!
- Track my pattern usage. - In process!

For fun:
- Redecorate the sewing room this year. - Almost finished!  Just need a few more finishing touches!

So far so good!  I'm moving right along! 

Happy sewing everyone!


Friday, July 13, 2018

June Ginger Jeans Journey - DONE!

Not to sound cheeky here - but there aren't too many things in the sewing world that intimate me.  I once made a bridal gown for a friend along with 10 bridesmaids dresses and 2 flower girls dresses all for the same wedding.  One of  the bridesmaids was expecting and one of them was overseas which required shipping a muslin back and forth for fitting purposes.  All of that turned out great, although I never want to see the color lilac again!  Hand pad stitched tailored jacket - bring it on.  Bound buttonholes - I love 'em!  However, put some denim and a jeans zipper in front of me, and I'm cowering in the corner begging for sewing mercy!

Well not any more - I. MADE. JEANS!!!!  Yes me - I really did!!!!  These are the Ginger Jeans by Closet Case patterns.  I made the high waisted, skinny leg version with just a few modifications and I survived!

Look Mom - no gapping at the back waist!!  The problem I always have with RTW jeans.  I love how Heather Lou has you baste the jeans together a few times during the sewing process to check for proper fit.  This helped a ton!  I ended up taking in the back booty seam 2 1/4 inches and adjusting the waistband accordingly to end the gaposis I was having at the center back.  I also added a little bit of width to the calf area on the legs.

And what do we have here?  Could that be stars on my back pockets?!??!?

Why yes it is!

Still no gaping - even when twisting at a funny angle...

Close-up of the top stitching on the front.  I used my old 7550 Pfaff to do all of the topstitching, including the bar tacks at the zipper area.  I knew my new Pfaff would complain with the topstitching so I didn't even try.  I couldn't sweet talk my old machine into sewing the bar tacks on the belt loops though - it was just way, way too thick for it.   Instead, I just topstitched back and forth a few times.

For the pockets, an Instagram reader suggested first stitching the design on a blank piece of paper with no thread.  Next, place the paper over your pockets and using chalk, draw on the stitched lines - the idea being that some of the chalk will go thru the holes to transfer the design onto the pocket.  Once I did this, I was able to see the design enough to go back with the chalk marker and trace them again giving a good solid line to follow for my final topstitching.

And voila - looks pretty darn good if you ask me!!

For the inside pockets and waistband, I used a fun polka dot quilting cotton I had in the stash.

And of course, don't forget to sew my label in the back of these guys!

Paraphrased from the back of the Ginger Jean instructions:
"Bravo!  I am now a sewing Ninja.  Jeans!  I made jeans!"

Latest Stashbustin' Stats:

Yardage for these fabulous jeans = 2 yards
YTD yards sewn = 48.25 yards
Remaining yardage to reach 100 yard goal = 51.75 yards

Happy sewing everyone!


Monday, July 9, 2018

Our Tour of Huston Textile Company

Recently, my neighborhood sewing group was given the opportunity to tour Huston Textile Company, a small, family owned business located in Mather, California.  Ryan Huston and his wife Kat started the business in the fall of 2012 and their focus is to manufacture American fabric made from American fibers on American machines.  Their pride of ownership could be seen throughout the entire tour.  Ryan's technical knowledge and ability to bring their old looms and manufacturing equipment back to life is truly remarkable.

Below is the outside of the building with a view of their fiber and dye garden.  Currently they are growing sunflowers and indigo to be used as natural fabric dyes.

A view inside - Where all of the magic happens...

Ryan explaining the spools of thread they use in the weaving process.  He is wearing jeans made from his own manufactured denim, that he sewed and dyed himself. 

 A giant "bobbin" to hold the long lengths of warp weaving threads.

A loom threaded with warp threads.  Warp threads are the threads that run the length of the fabric.

This is an automatic bobbin winder.  Using the spools of thread on the cones on the top of the machine, it automatically winds the bobbins (the wooden stick looking things) that are used inside the shuttle of the weaving machine.  Once a bobbin is wound to it's capacity, it cuts the thread, drops into the bucket below and another bobbin is fed into the track to start the winding process again.  These bobbins create the weft threads (the threads that run right to left) in the weaving process.  It was pretty neat to see this machine in action!  

One of their looms in action.  Hard to see in a still photo, but this machine can produce a yard of canvas in about 4.5 minutes.  It was very loud and we were all required to wear hearing protection while it was running.

Ryan showing us his cutting tool that is used to cut multiple layers (up to 70) of fabric at the same time.  It comes with it's own chain mail glove to product your fingers from the blade.

The 40 foot cutting table.  Wouldn't you just love one of these in your sewing room!  Think of how  many projects you could cut out on this!

A giant wall mural inside the facility.

That's the end of our tour.  A great day had by all!  Thank you Huston Textiles!

Happy sewing everyone!