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!


Friday, June 29, 2018

Butterick 5079 - A dress with a twist!

This Butterick Suzi Chin designer pattern has been in the stash since it was first printed in 2007.  The pattern back says: "Unsuitable for obvious diagonals, plaids or stripes".  Well - I beg to differ on the stripe comment.  With a few layout changes, I think it works perfectly with stripes!  For starters, I eliminated the seamline on the center front and center back skirt portions because who wants to match a stripe when they don't need too!

I raised the center front V by 1.5 inches.  It was way, way too low for my small bustline.

Ok, bragging time - just look at my stripe matching on the skirt sides!  

I also eliminated the center back zipper.  My fabric is very, very stretchy so the zipper wasn't needed.

 The twisty front portion gathers at the sides and pairs up with a separate gathered belt like piece around the back.

I purchased the knit at Fabric Mart earlier this year and after making this dress, I still have a little bit left over.  Maybe a t-shirt?

Latest Stashbustin' Stats:

Yardage for this dress = 2.5 yards
YTD yards sewn = 46.25 yards
Remaining yardage to reach 100 yard goal = 53.75 yards

Happy sewing everyone!


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A very quick sew - my fave turtleneck

It's 100+ degrees outside and what better to sew than an Winter Turtleneck!  This is a super quick sew and I needed to make some room in my fabric stash for some new gems I recently purchased.  I knew this would free up some much needed space quickly so here you go!

This knit was purchased at the Sewing Garage Sale earlier this year.  There was a total of 1.25 yards for $2.50.  Not a bad price!

I used the serger to sew up the top and the coverstitch to hem it.  Total time - maybe an hour to cut out and an hour to sew?

Just a quick post today!  Hope everyone is doing well!

Latest Stashbustin' Stats:

Yardage for this top = 1.25 yards
YTD yards sewn = 43.75 yards
Remaining yardage to reach 100 yard goal = 56.25 yards

Happy sewing everyone!


Monday, June 25, 2018

Oh Matilda - How do I love thee?

I just can't get enough of the Megan Nielsen Matilda pattern - I love it!  This is version #3 and my May MAGAM Challenge garment.  The theme for the May MAGAM was "May Flower" and this gorgeous floral print fits the bill nicely!

I purchased this quilting cotton at a quilting garage sale earlier this year.  There was only 3 yards in the roll so I wasn't sure I could squeek out this dress out of what I had.  The pattern calls for 4.375 yards so I was quite a bit short.

I ended up piecing the bottom skirt panels together on the lower corners.  There wasn't enough fabric to pattern match my piecing, but - can you tell?  And I didn't have enough fabric for the patch pockets either.

There are alot of buttons on this dress - a total of 13 and I had these red buttons in the stash that match the red flowers perfectly! 

I think this could be my favorite version yet!  I just love this fabric!

Latest Stashbustin' Stats:

Yardage for this dress = 3 yards
YTD yards sewn = 42.5 yards
Remaining yardage to reach 100 yard goal = 57.5 yards

Happy sewing everyone!


Sunday, June 24, 2018

It's Catch-up Week!

It's been over a month since I've posted.  I have been sewing, just not alot of blogging happening in this space so it's time for a catch-up post.  First off - catch-up on Me-Made-May and April MAGAM challenges.

Me-Made-May - What did I learn?

I committed to wearing one Me-Made every day for the entire month with no repeats.  During the week was easy as I have a bunch of clothes to wear to work, but I really struggled on the weekends.  Casual clothes for just hanging around the house or running errands is where I need to focus more attention on.  Even just a plain t-shirt is lacking in my wardrobe - so I'll be making a few of those in the coming months.

April MAGAM Challenge

The theme for the April Challenge was "Alternative April".  This was a head scratcher from the start for me, but then the lovely @SarahLizsewstyle suggested suggested I make something plain.  PLAIN?  Hmm - well yes - that would be alternative for me!  So I found two plain knits I had in the stash to make some tops - a grey and a royal blue.

I selected Vogue 8856 as my pattern.  View A would be out of the grey knit and view B would be the royal blue.  I know what your thinking - that pattern isn't plain at all! 

Knowing that ruffles aren't my thing, I changed the back of View A to have the small triangle piece of View B instead.  That was ok, but it went downhill from there.  Here's a lesson in pairing the wrong fabric with the wrong pattern.  My knit was just too thick to make for a nice drapey neckline and the ruffle in the front sticks out too much for my liking.

Not sure if the necklace works either....

The back is better with the triangle piece, but I think just a straight back without the triangle would have been better.  The less attention I draw to the bubble butt backside, the better. 

All in all, this top is destined for the donate pile.  I really can't see myself being comfortable when I wear it.  Oh well - you win some, you lose some!  As for the blue top - it still remains in the UFO bin.  The front drape on it falls way, way to long and frankly, I just got fed up of working on it. 

Latest Stashbustin' Stats:

Yardage for this top = 2.125 yards
YTD yards sewn = 39.5 yards
Remaining yardage to reach 100 yard goal = 60.5 yards

Happy sewing everyone!


Friday, May 18, 2018

Warning - Fabric Porn Ahead!

The Sewing Garage Sale was a H-U-G-E success this year for me!  Lots and lots of new yardage to add to the stash!  Now I know what your thinking - I thought you were trying to get rid of the stash Star?!??!!?  Well - yes, but... considering I sold over 140+ yards of fabric, I think I can justify buying 50 yards.  Yes - I typed that correctly!  After tallying up my totals, I purchased 50 yards of fabric!  And I found some fabulous deals!

First off - this was an AWESOME year for finding good knits.  Hurray!
From left to right:
Black/Magenta knit - 2.675 yards - $4.00
Blue/Green abstract knit - 2 yards - $4.00
White/blue/purple knit - 2 yards - $6.00

And more knits....
Black/White/Gray floral - 2.75 yards - $8.00
Black/Gray Cheetah - 1.75 yards - $7.00
Black/Gray sweater knit - 1.5 yards - $3.00
And more knits....
Squares poly blue/green knit - 1.5 yards - $3.00
Black/Green/Turquoise abstract knit - 2.25 yards - $4.50
Teal bird print - 2 yards - $7.00 - look closely - it's little abstract birds in this print!

And yes - more knits!
Light blue plain - 1.375 yards - $3.00
Blue stripe knit - 1.25 yards - $2.50 - This is already cut out as my fav turtleneck again.
Black/white houndstooth - 1.5 yards - $4.00

A mixture here:
Purple knit - 1 yard - $2.00
Pink/Purple paint swatch linen - 3 yards - $6.00.  You don't often see me wearing pink but this piece just kept calling my name.  I'm thinking a dress out of this one.
Blue/purple watercolor look linen - 4.25 yards - $4.00.  This was calling my name too.  Probably another dress.  

Another mixture here:
Black/White reversible - not sure of the content, maybe rayon? 3.375 yards - $6.00
Black/White floral pique - 3.25 yards - $9.00.  This was going to be a dress, but when I found out it has some stretch to it, I think I'll make some capri pants.  Yes - I said the P word - I'm going to make some PANTS!
Black/White polka dots - these two were sitting right next to each other - what a perfect combination!  2 yards of each one for a total of 4 yards for $6.00 - These two will be a super cute dress!
And lastly,
Black/White quilting cotton - 1.66 yards - $2.00
Black rayon jersey knit - 3 yards - $5.00
Red silk lining - 4 yards - $10.00.  A bit much for this one, but it just happened to match some red fabric I already had cut out for a dress and needed a lining for so I bought it.  Still cheaper than I could buy it for in the store though...

And of course some trims and elastics - all of this for $4.00

So my grand total after the tax man applied his amount came to $118.53 for 50 yards of fabric and trims.  I don't know where you can find that good of a deal!

I have now finished serging all of the edges, pre-shrinking everything and you can see I've cut out two things already.  So now the tough part - finding room in my stash closet to store everything!

Happy sewing everyone!