Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cleaning Out - This Time I REALLY mean it!

I'm cleaning out my sewing room, and this time I really mean it!  Buying yards and yards of fleece seemed like such a good idea at the time, but now, well, what the hell am I ever going to do with it!?  I'm done! If I have not had a use for it in the last year, it's gone.  Not sure where it's going, but for now it will move to the neighboring "utility room" that is quite possibly a fire hazard.  It's next on my list, but why rush.  Wish me luck and perhaps even a fairy godmother that will wave her magic wand and make it all look picture perfect.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Plaid Jacket

Finished plaid jacket!  At last!  McCall's 5525.  It will probably be awhile before I attempt another plaid.  This was difficult to match.  I used a woven plaid flannel with fusible batting as an interlining.  I lined it with a bubblegum pink bemberg lining.  The pockets are in the princess seam and are really much too small.  I think a cell phone and keys would fall out pretty easily.  The collar is very wide, and that's even after I narrowed it quite a bit.  I narrowed the lapels as well as this jacket is for my tween daughter and apparently wide lapels and collars are not all that!  It does look cute on her but I had a few screw ups on this one.  First as you can plainly see the sleeves do not line up perfectly - close enough, but not perfect.  I'm ok with that.  But then I cut the left side of the lining at the little kick pleat in the back when I shouldn't have, which left me with a little problem of not enough fabric to cover the area.  I fixed it by muttering a few cuss words and then applique-ing a little patch to cover it.  I'm glad it's finally finished and even though I don't think she will wear it very much, it does look cute on her.  It was difficult to find a simple trench style jacket that would fit a 12 year old girl.  I cut the smallest size (size 8) and just had to take it in slightly, lengthen the arms and shorten the length of the jacket.  I left off all the tabs and belt because I just thought it was a little too much with the plaid and because I was just plain tired of working on this and ready for it to be done. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hand Dyed Silk Bias

I discovered hand dyed silk bias binding while working at an independent fabric store.  Since then I have used it on several projects and LOVED the results.  It's pretty easy and the silk dye is so much fun to use.  I bought a set of the ColorHue silk dyes from Art Threads and a 35 yard roll of silk satin bias (2 inch) from  This is the first time I have played with it at home, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this yet, but I'll think of something.  I'm starting to create a "recipe" book so that I can duplicate colors I really like in the future.  The swatches on the left were the solid colors that I used to create this marbled look on the right.  I need to take a picture in better light because I did like the blend of colors much better in person than in this photo.  I have used it in the past as the trim on my reversible wrap and as binding on my quilted purse, but that one was a beautifully muted kelly green with denim blues.  For this one, I'm think of making another quilted purse with an eggplant colored floral I just picked up by Sevenberry.  I'll keep you posted on  my progress!  Happy sewing!

Monday, February 8, 2010

No Snow Day?!

While most of the east coast and some of the midwest got to stay home and play, we Coloradoans did NOT get a snow day.  Is it because they expect people living in Colorado to drive on ice and snow as if it were any other day of the week?  Is it because they LOVE to torture school aged children who do the snow day dance before bedtime only to be awakened at 6:30 a.m. for school on a day with 3 inches of snow.  Now granted 3 inches is not much for our neck of the woods, but for crying out loud, it's MONDAY, it's COLD and I didn't make lunches before I went to bed because I didn't think any school administrator in their right mind would send children out to buses in snow and ice and frigid temperatures! I therefore revolted and granted my happy little children a no snow day holiday.  Did I get any sewing done like so many of my favorite bloggers?  Did I get caught up on laundry or cleaning out the fridge which clearly is growing penicillin on its own? Did I even get out of my pajamas?  Why no, dear readers, I did not!  And that my friends, is the beauty of a no snow day!  Here's hoping for better things tomorrow . . .

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Job - New Tie

My husband just started a new job, the first civilian job after 20 years in the military.  SEW, I thought it would be nice to commemorate this momentous event by making him a neck tie.  I found a lovely Italian silk jacquard in gold with a blue pattern.  I used a pattern from one of the BIG 4 and though it took some playing, I was able to decipher the directions enough to come up with a pretty pleasing result.  The benefit of making your own neck tie is that you can make it any length you want - a big plus for taller guys.  I found these lovely little "P.S. I love you" labels at a quilt shop in Estes Park and have had the most fun sewing them into items I've made for my family.  I thought about saving this tie for Valentine's Day, but instead couldn't wait that long and gave it to him after his first day.  There's not many sewing projects I would tackle for the man in my life, but the neck tie turned out to be a winner!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Third Item from Butterick 5394. . .

Happy New Year! I have now made three separate items from this same Butterick 5394 pattern.  This last item is a kimono jacket made from an ultrasoft fleece print.  I've had this fabric in my stash for at least 10 years and never knew what I was going to make from it.  I chose this jacket because I wanted to pair it with jeans and a taupe turtleneck sweater.  I went ahead and lined it even though the pattern does not call for a lining.  I thought the slippery-ness of the lining would make it slide on and off when wearing it with sweaters.  Probably not necessary, but I had the lining in my stash too, so it fell into my resolution to use up what I have in my stash before purchasing more fabric.  I even cleaned out my stash and decided that some fabrics no longer interested me and were ready to be given away. I like that I was able to get three totally different looks from this one pattern.  My resolution for the year is to make more of my own clothes, and hopefully to wear at least one handmade item every day.  I better get started!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Quilted purse

Worked on a quilted purse for a belated Christmas gift over the weekend.  The pattern is Simplicity 2551, but the instructions call for purchased pre-quilted fabric, which I did not have, so I made my own.  I simply layered a piece of muslin, cotton batting and my printed fabric cut larger than my pattern piece and machine quilted in a square pattern with copper metallic thread.  I don't think the quilting really stands out in the photos, but it blended in nicely with the metallic in the prints.  Once I quilted it, I pinned my pattern piece to the quilted fabric and cut everything out.  Everything I used was from my stash, so I didn't have to buy anything but the tassle I attached to the zipper pull.  Overall, I really like the purse, although next time I will definitely use a darker zipper, but off white was what I had so that's what I used.  This pattern did not call for lining the purse, but I really prefer a lined purse, so I lined with one of the same cotton prints and used some leftover hand dyed silk bias for the binding the edges.  Overall, I'm very pleased.  I really like fast quick projects and even more so when I can use up some of my stash.  And, after I finished I even cleaned out 2 drawers and one cabinet in my sewing room!  Impressed?  I am!