Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tutorial Posted!

I am so excited that my adjustable fabric strap tutorial has been posted on Totally Tutorials!  Thanks to all who have followed their link to my blog!  I hope that anyone interested in making these adjustable fabric straps will view my tute and, if there are any questions, or something isn't clear, please email me with your questions or comments!  This was my first tutorial.  I hope to write many more, so I want to make sure that my instructions are clear. 

Thanks again to Totally Tutorials and also a big shout out to Nancy Zieman


Friday, March 26, 2010

Butterick Pattern Review

I hope everyone likes the new blog format and background.  I'm pretty pleased with the look and I love the vintage photo I found!  I have also added an "email me" button.  I must say I am pretty pleased with myself for figuring that one out!  I guess you could say I am becoming a real Blogger eh?  Please, please send comments or email me and give me some feedback!  I'm really not an expert and actually need all the help/input I can get!  Thanks!

Pattern Review:

I've decided that when I sew a project using a pattern, I will write/post a review on that pattern.  When I started sewing a few years ago, I found most patterns difficult to follow and understand.  Even the patterns described as "Very Easy" were definitely not tres facile for me!  To me, it seems, that most patterns are written for folks that know all the sewing verbiage, etc. and not for crafters like me.  So, I'd like to review the patterns I use and maybe "translate" them into directions that might be better understood.  Sidenote:  In my experience, Sewing For Dummies patterns are still difficult to follow.  Does that make me a dummy?  I don't think so.  I just think that they aren't written well.

 I will review the pattern I will use for my next sewing project, which will be the next halter in the stack of halter patterns I bought a few weeks ago.  I started with Butterick 4800, 6 Sew Easy.  I began with this pattern believing it would be the easiest.  The next top I'm going to sew (try) is Butterick 4685 Fast & Easy.  I'm going to need some notions for this top, including 1 1/4 yards of 1/4" elastic and 1 3/8 yards of 1 1/2" single-edged scalloped lace trim.  I will also need to decide what sort of fabric to use.  My options are lightweight broadcloth, lightweight linen or cotton knits.  I will need 1 7/8 yards of whatever fabric I choose.  Sew, what's next?  A trip to the fabric store!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Layout

Good Evening..or good morning. I have been playing around with the blog layout. I still can't figure out how to apply a photo to the header so that it appears the right size and in the right place, but for what I have accomplished at 1:00 in the morning, I'm happy with...for now. I hope you like it. I'm sure the appearance will be ever evolving...until it is just right! Even then, it'll probably change. For now, goodnight.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Halter Weather?

Yesterday I wore sandals and a short sleeved shirt out shopping. It was 63 degrees in the sexy city. Today it is below freezing and it continues to snow! You gotta love the Midwest!

I started working on the halter a few days ago. I finished up this morning and, believe it or not, no curse words were spoken during this project! I had some trouble understanding the instructions on how to attach the front to the back at the shoulders, but, with some trial and error (big time), I figured it out and then it made sense. Another first for me, was darts! I've shied away from projects, mostly bags, that have darts. This time, however, I read ( and reread) the section in one of my sewing books (Teach Yourself Visually Sewing) about darts and success: darts where they are supposed to be! Now I just need to figure out how to alter this part of the pattern to make the bosom area a bit bigger. The halter fit, but it was snug in this area...or maybe the darts just need to be lowered a little...the model on the cover of the pattern appears to be a wee bit younger than myself! Ah, gravity!
I've added a few photos of two bags I made using a Simplicity pattern for size and shape, but then added my own spin to them by using bias tape on the pockets. Check them out by clicking on Bias Tape Purses.
Until next time, stay warm! Spring will come, I promise.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Halter Weather!

It is sunny and nearly 50 degrees in the Midwest! Well, partly sunny...or partly cloudy? Anyway, I hear birds chirping and see a tinge of green in the grass...and that's not the St. Patrick's Day Eve green beer talking. It may be partly sunny and 50 (probably more like 42), but when folks are donning capris and sandals to run to Walmart, that means Spring is just round the corner and that screams summer halter weather is not far behind! In celebration, I took advantage of the recent Butterick pattern sale at JoAnn's and picked up three halter patterns. To be honest, I haven't worn a halter since I was probably 13. That was a long, long time ago. I've decided, however, I've earned the right to wear whatever I want now. I do need to work on my tan though. I mean the wings are one thing, but to be so white I could glow in the dark, well, that's really not a 'good thing.'

I think I will start with the 6 Sew Easy pattern. It seems the simplest. I am a novice here, so there may be some cursing involved. I'll keep you posted.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Happy Saturday!

Whew! I made it through the week in one peice! Well, mostly. It was a crazy week and I really thought exhaustion was setting in. I stuck to my promise of spending at least 15 minutes in my lair everyday and because of this, I have staved off the aforementioned state of mind and completed a new bag I made using the Anna Maria Horner fabric I bought a few weeks ago! I made it about the same size and in the same way as the bird appliqued black messenger bag I posted about previously. I made the strap differently, however. I made it a bit shorter and a little more narrow. I also used heavier interfacing as this fabric needed a bit more weight. I used duck canvas when I made the black bag. I applied a magnetic snap to the flap on this bag as well as an inside pocket. Neither of which I had implemented on the black bag. So, I am pretty pleased with this new bag. Oh, I wish you could feel the fabric. There is a slight sheen to it and it is just delicious. I love it!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Superhero Retirement?

Are there retirement villages for superheroes? Can superheroes retire? Can superheroes quit and take up hairdressing, bartending, or professional ballroom dancing mid-career? I've been contemplating these issues for the last few days. Today was a doozy and I thought about throwing in the tights and bullet proof wristlets numerous times. I decided, however, that I can't do that. I have been a superhero most of my adult life. I really don't know how to do anything else. Besides, I come by superheroeness rightly. My parents were both superheroes. No, I can't retire. I must trudge along. These last few days have reaffirmed my need for escape to my sewing room, my lair, I guess. I now pledge: No matter what...I will spend at least 15 minutes in my lair daily...if it is to just sit in peace. I will do this for me. I am afraid if I don't, I might end up, what they used to call, "exhausted." Now, they call it, "cuckoo."

Oh, and I must sew a new purse. The bag I just finished...the one with the Nancy Z. strap, is covered in coffee. Yes, I spilled my coffee on it yesterday...twice. A new bag...maybe out of the Anna Maria Horner fabric?? Yes.

I want to say "hello" Victoria. Welcome aboard. I'm so glad to have you join me on this crafty (and life) journey.


Friday, March 5, 2010

A Tutorial....Finally

Well, I wrote a tutorial today about making an adjustable purse strap using fabric slides. I followed Nancy's steps to the letter, except for the length, and the strap turned out great! I'm not sure my how-to explains the process as descriptively as Nancy does in the 12 Easy Sew Bags episode I've watched over and over (and over) again, but I think it comes close. The bag I made (red and khaki plaid) is not from a pattern, although I did use Simplicity pattern #2830 for the size and shape, but the design is my own.
I used this same Simplicity pattern for size and shape for another bag I made this fall. I used bias tape on this bag, which was a first. I really like how it turned out. It is the black and white bag shown above. (I wish I could find a tutorial on how to add photos to posts)
Have a look at the how-to and let me know what you think. I've also added a few project photos of a summer halter top I made out of scrap fabric. I think it turned out really cute. I am definately going to try that one again in an adult size (for me and my tan)!