Wednesday, November 24, 2010

PATTERNS and some other photos

Let's call this a catch-up post. :-) I'm busy baking chocolate chip cookies for the guys on my sailor's ship who have to work on Thanksgiving, so this might be a disjointed while I move cookie sheets in & out of the oven!

Faye asked recently about how to create boiled wool. I started with some very heavyweight 100% wool jersey, and ran it through a cycle of hot-washer-hot-dryer about three times. I know some people zigzag the edges first, but I didn't, so I did get some distortion. However, I started with 3 yards and I was only making a size 7 jacket, so it was OK.

Next, here are a few patterns I purchased recently. Now I need to get over the sore throat, and find some time to sew them up. (I'm actually not a super dedicated seamstress, sewing while super sick... this is more of a "wow I don't feel great" sore throat so the quilting projects were good to keep my mind off it.)

Vogue 1156.... I love this one. Need to make a muslin soon!


And a really cute little dress that I may or may not ever get to, but which I love looking at anyway. If I didn't go to work in sneakers and jeans everyday, this is what I'd wear.


And finally, some finished photos of the Thanksgiving table runner I made:



I used the "snowflake" stitch from my Viking to quilt the lines.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

under the weather

The sailor and I are both sick with sore throats... must be the start of winter. We've stocked up on tea and OJ and I've retreated to my sewing room with lots of charm packs to do some holiday sewing. I bought a whole ton of Moda charm packs in the last month and they've been collecting near the sewing machine. Just sitting there looking so cute and tiny waiting to be made into christmas presents. This first one, though, is not a Christmas present at all. Here's the current WIP, a thanksgiving day square table runner, which is not yet quilted. We're all eating at my mom's house, so I've told her to put on an ivory tablecloth & I'll bring this over.


We also have a little table runner for my future MIL. I love the little snowmen!
a table runner

Corner folded up to show the back


Has anyone else started holiday sewing yet?

Monday, November 15, 2010

coat Q & A

Important pieces first, shall we? Cameraphone pictures of my niece in her coats, taken while I was trying to mark with a safety pin where to hem the sleeve.

Kate in her Sgt Pepper jacket

Kate in her new polka dot coat

She quite loves the pockets on the brown polka dot coat so I'm glad that I put them in, even if they aren't fancy welt pockets.

Elizabeth asked if I was interfacing or underlining the coats. The grey coat is not interfaced- when I felted the wool jersey I just kept throwing it back into the washer until it was really thick so it really didn't need anything. That jacket is unlined, anyway. Then the bodice of the brown coat is block-fused using a nice interfacing I buy at pacific trim. It's a lightweight white woven cotten that's fusible, and it's my favorite interfacing these days. It's the white stuff here:

bwof coat

BeeBee asked if I was going to use the reverse of the brown wool. No, I thought it was neat looking but it didn't really fit with the look of the coat, so it's hidden away.

I was all set to start working on a brown tweed coat for myself using a really pretty vintage pattern. However... I lost the pattern! It has to be here somewhere, the apartment is Not.That.Big. I think my fish is hiding it...

simplicity 8043

Sunday, November 14, 2010

polka dot coat

Here are some coat innards, from last night! Again, this is BWOF 11-2010-147, the little girl's coat. I changed a few things, using wool instead of a boucle, leaving off the facing (I lined to the edge), and making it single breasted in the end.


I finished up the shell and then paused there for the evening. This pattern was very nicely drafted and it went together very easily- the sleeves slipped right in, the collar met the notches, everything lined up without much effort. Dear BWOF, your new pattern sheets drive me crazy but you are still worth it. ;)


I did have some issues getting the back tab's shape to come out correctly, since the wool was so bulky. Eh. I think I'll get two largish buttons today and sew them onto the tab, so hopefully that will disguise the wonky factor. It is at least sewn on straight, but this photo was at an angle so it looks a bit more off here than it really is.


And here we are- almost done except for hemming the sleeves. To do that I need to try it on the munchkin and she's at her mother's house right now. :-) This is hanging on an adult size hanger so the sleeves are poking out because the hanger is a little too big.


You can't see them, but the pockets are in the side seams. The buttons are gold colored shell buttons that I had lying around... I think the gold picks up the pink so they look ok.

To make the buttonholes this morning I basted a line down the front, then thread traced where the top & bottom of each buttonhole would be across that line. My machine makes a 4-step buttonhole that uses tiny "X"s up & down the sides and I've discovered that they work very nicely for thick wool coats. With the threadlines marking the top and bottom of the buttonholes it's not too tricky to make them as 4-step buttonholes. :-)

So, there we are, a tiny dress coat for my niece!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

a new winter coat for Kate

I haven't finished the trim for my niece's military jacket yet, but this weekend I decided I'd start on a new winter coat for her.

I bought this lining fabric at Joann's about two years ago:
lining fabric

and I bought this fabric from Mood about 3 years ago- it was $40/yard, so it's one of the most expensive pieces of fabric I've ever bought. But the instant that I saw it, I knew that it had to be made into a sweet little coat for one of my nieces!

polka dot herringbone

The fabric's reverse side is kind of neat looking as well:
fabric reverse

I'm using BWOF 11-2010-147, from the newest issue. You can see a picture of the pattern on the german site. And here's the line drawing:

coat pattern

So far, I've cut the fashion fabric, fused the bodice pieces to woven fusible interfacing, and sewn up the lining. Let me tell you right now what's not going to happen: welt pockets (I'll put them on the side seams instead). No way am I messing up $50 of fabric with imperfect welt pockets!! ;)

This project is reminding me why I love sewing little girl outfits, they go together so incredibly quickly. The lining just zipped together in a few minutes!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

a quiet weekend

This is Henry:

Henry lives in a small printshop in Brooklyn that is stuffed full of 100 to 50 year old letterpress print machines. Henry and I had some quality time today while I learned how to print the same way they used to in the 1800s... pick out individual letters, load them into a chase, ink your press, and print the page one sheet at a time. It was slooow going, frustrating, tedious, and hard physical work, but totally worth learning. So now I'm qualified as a letter press printer in the shop and I can go in and print my own projects. Oh boy.

Setting text in a chase

To get all philosophical, it has a lot of the same appeal as learning how to sew garments, doing something carefully by hand that's usually done in mass production these days. The prints are like 10000% more beautiful when you've spent the last hour setting the text and aligning your paper than when it just spits out of an ink jet printer. ;) I've seen this kind of printing demonstrated before but never done it myself, so I had no appreciation for the amount of effort it takes to print a carefully lined up block of text straight on a piece of paper using these old technologies.

To get all practical, hello letterpress wedding invites that I can now print myself at cost. I'm sure there will be some artsy fartsy projects produced, but there will also definitely be some wedding printing going down. ;)

Printing workshop

This was work-by-hand weekend, apparently, because I also spent several hours sewing buttons, frogs, and trim onto Kate's little military jacket. Still coming along... I'm thinking right now about putting snaps under the frogs since they might be hard for her little hands to open & close easily.

Here we have the buttons (from Pacific Trim) down the front princess seam & one side of the frogs:


I'm still debating what to do on the collars and the sleeve cuffs, to add braid or buttons onto them.