Sunday, May 30, 2010

Vintage Sewing and Quilts!

Good evening.  Or is it good morning?  I've been super busy on stuff other than on stuff I want to be doing!  Before getting distracted by work stuff, I managed to complete my Flea Market Friday excursion!  On this trip, I went to an antique mall instead of a thrift or junk store.  This mall was made up of several individual "booths."  Most booths seemed to specialize in certain wares.  For example, one vender had numerous vintage hats and related items displayed for sale.  Next to this particular booth, I found several old dresses, shoes,  and women's undergarmets, including pantyhose.  I can't get over how small these clothes and shoes are.  Even the vintage gloves are tiny.  Why do you think women (and men) seem to be bigger nowadays?  Could we be bigger because we eat food that have been "enhanced" by steriods and other chemicals to make the chicken or cow bigger?  Just something to think about. 

Another booth at the mall specialized in vintage sewing related items, including the awesome iron pictured above.  Attached to this iron was a Coleman heat can.  I'm not sure how old this item was, but it was heavy.  I found a couple of old sewing baskets in this booth and even a body form.  I ended up finding a 1942 Vogue Book of Dressmaking.  It evens comes with a free pattern for a dickey!  Do people still wear those?  I bought the book and can't wait until I have some time to really look through it.

I could have spent the entire afternoon at this mall and I am not sure that I still would have seen every item.  I found many of the booths displayed some sort of fabric, whether hankies, dishtowels, napkins, or quilts.  Tons of quilts!  I took photos of several different quilt styles:

I hope everyone has a great and safe Memorial Day!  

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tutorial Posted at Craftaholics Anonymous!

The first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem.  Therefore, I can no longer tread along in denial; I don't mean that river in Africa.  No, I will admit:  I am a Craftaholic!  Thanks to Linda at Craftaholics Anonymous for selecting my Adjustable Fabric Strap Tutorial for Reader's Week on her blog!  I was sew excited when she notified me!  Check out her blog for several great tutorials all week!  I know you'll want to stick around longer because Linda always has cool stuff!

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  I am still recouperating from my trip to Oklahoma!  I had never really been to OK before and I must say, it was more than Okay!  Honestly, I can't thank Stephanie and Matt enough for their hospitality and generosity.  We had a fantastic time and so enjoyed our time with you and all the clan! 

Simplicity 2616

Sew, now that the graduations are over...what's next?  Simplicity 2616 is:

I've already picked up some great fabric.  It is a cream colored linen with a black floral embroidered pattern.  I hope to get started as soon as possible and hopefully write a Pattern Translation as I go.  Sew, stay tuned!

You may have noticed a few changes to my blog design.  As I've posted before, I have a hard time "leaving things alone."  I guess as I am learning about blogging and web design, I want to try to change things up a bit and put my own mark on my blog instead of leaving everything up to Blogger and other template designers.  So, I managed to make my own "button."  However, I haven't figured out how to make the "Grab My Button" part of it.  Anyone out there with some easy (I mean EASY) instructions or tutorials would be sew appreciated!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Graduation Gifts

As you might remember, I have been secretly working on graduation gifts for awhile. At the same time, I was working on my Butterick outfit (that I will never again wear) and the summer clothes for my littlest daughter. I made this bible cover for my cousin using my favorite Anna Maria Horner fabric:
Drawing Room Bible Cover

Drawing Room Bible Cover (inside)

I also made several zippy bags.

I made one of the bags based on a Zakka style pouch in the most recent issue of Stitch magazine:

Stitch Spring Issue

Samantha's Bag

Now that all these graduations are what am I going to make? I can think of lots!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Butterick Pattern B5363 Done!

Wow.  What a busy (and quick) weekend!  I did manage to get my outfit finished...I finished the bottom hem of the jacket about 15 minutes before leaving home for a high school graduation!  I think the outfit turned out pretty good, however, now looking at photos, I realize this ensemble is definately not figure flattering.  I thought I liked empire waists, but really, if you aren't a size 2, and maybe 22 years old, this style should probably not be in my wardrobe.  What do you think?  I did accomplish what I set out to do when I started this project:  the buttonhole - check, matching the print - check (yeah, the tunic is actually two pieces..bodice and skirt), and I got it done and wore it by the weekend - check.  Realizing it looks like a maternity outfit on me - check.

Besides finishing this outfit, I also managed a quick Flea Market Friday run to our local Goodwill store.  I found two old belt making kits for .$49 each and a cool basket.  I want to say the basket a sewing basket, but I think its original purpose was to carry picnic supplies.  It was $2.99 and can be whatever I want it to be right?

I'd like to give a shout out to May at Handmade Matters for posting my adjustable strap tutorial!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tutorial Fixed!

Thanks to Rachelle for sending me the head's up that two photos were missing from my adjustable strap tutorial! I'm not sure how they disappeared, but they are back now. Also, thanks for checking it out. I hope you try this tutorial and be sure to send my a photo of your finished bag!

Butterick 5363

I've been working on an outfit the last few days...when I can sneak a few minutes that is. This outfit will be my first ensemble for myself. I'm using Butterick pattern 5363. I've completed the pants and am working on the tunic now. I'm hoping to complete the jacket and wear the whole outfit this weekend. I'm using black seersucker fabric for the pants and jacket and a grey and black seersucker for the tunic. So far, I've accomplished a few sewing firsts for me:
  1. successfully laying out and cutting out the pattern peices from 60" wide fabric
  2. successfully positioning and cutting (I think) the plaidish fabric pieces for the tunic
  3. a buttonhole!

For fear I might jinx myself, I don't want to say that I haven't had any mishaps...but, this project has proven, so far, mistake and injury free! Keep you posted!


Monday, May 10, 2010

Sew, What's Up?

Hi everyone! I hope everyone had a terrific Mother's Day...whether you are a mom or not! Wow, I've been sew busy (at work) that I haven't been able to get much done in my sewing lair since my last post about Nancy's bag templates. I did manage to finish the bag, but, sorry, I don't like it. I guess it is my own fault for altering the pattern, but I wanted to try making the purse strap adjustable by making it like a belt. I think the strap actually turned out good, but it doesn't "fit" the bag itself. It just doesn't look right on it. I definately like the strap and the hardware. Besides, I got to hammer the there a better way to relieve stress? Well, okay, I can think of some other ways, too!

Besides finishing this "Nancy Z" bag, I also made a top and skirt using some of the fabric I scored during my last Flea Market Friday. I think the outfit turned out super cute and my diva daughter loves it!

May has proven to be a busy month for me. I feel like the month is literally flying by. I have a lot of projects on my to do list and I hope to actually get half of them done. Cyndi at Bluebirdswing is having a busy month as well, but she is having an awesome giveaway on her blog. This month she is giving away some super fabric! I won her April giveaway and scored a terrific purse, wallet, key holder, and journal!

One last thing...even after the halter(s) fiasco, I still haven't totally given up on my quest for my own halter top. Maybe it's because I turned the big 4 0 a few weeks ago and I think wearing a halter somehow makes me younger?? Well, without any more attempts at pychological self-diagnosis or rather, denial, I might try another pattern. I found this one at Cut Out and Keep. It's called a Batwing halter made from a triangle.. check it out at Cut Out and Keep. Seems easy..right?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sew Why the Template?

Try it before you buy it Tuesday
As you already probably know, I am a huge fan of Nancy Z. I actually consider her my sewing hero. Sew, what I have to say now is hard. "Nancy, I'm not a big fan of the Trace N Create Bag template." Sorry. I think the concept is cool, but I'm really not sure that I needed to spend $20.00 for this sewing tool. Of course, I did buy the "City Bag" template. I might have liked the California collection more, but the idea for both is the same. The City Bag collection is one template that allows you to create one of six styles of bags. I'm making the simplest: The Portfolio. Basically it is a just a rectangle. I started by cutting a 13 X 18 rectangle of my outer fabric as well as the lining fabric and interfacing. Next, I placed the template on half of one of the interfaced fabric pieces and traced around the blue outer lines and the mark for the magnetic snap placement. I then flipped the template upside down and traced the same on the other half of the fabric. Finally, I cut at the line I drew. Well, tried to draw. I found it difficult to mark on the interfacing. I used a blue fabric pencil. This did not work well on the interfacing.
I followed these same steps for the lining. My pencil worked better here. I made some changes to this pattern. First, I decided not to follow Nancy's pattern for the straps. Instead of cutting out two 2 X 44 strips and eventually attach cross grain ribbon on both (what? really?), I cut mine about 3 1/2" wide by 53" which was the length of the fabric. I haven't decided how long to make the straps yet, so I cut them at that length. I think I am going to try out my eyelet tool and make the strap into a "belt." That sounds cool huh? But I transgress, I mean digress. Back to the template...the second change I made was to box the corners of the Portfolio Bag. The template allows for boxed corners for the other styles, but does not indicate this for my bag. Sew, I decided to box mine. Here is the bottom line for this template: If you just want to sew a simple square or rectangle tote or bag, you don't need the Trace N Create Template. Maybe if you are making a more complex bag, or making numerous bags of one style, you might consider this tool. Oh, the template doesn't indicate how much fabric to purchase either. Sew, why not just buy a cool pattern that advises amount of fabric needed as well as notions?

What is your answer to the bird question? Why do birds fly in a V? I ask this question because the birds chirping in the morning (loudly, I might add), remind me to look up when I'm outside. Every time I observe birds flying in this pattern I laugh. One of my mother's "jokes" was: "Why is one side of the birds' V flying formation longer than the other?" Her "targets" would ponder this as some scientific challenge question. Most would come up with elaborate theories of bird behaviour, etc. She'd laugh and say, "Why it's because there are more birds on one side!" Cheesy no? Yes, super cheesy, but that was my mom. Mother's Day is coming up and honestly, I didn't even realize this until last night. My mom, a real super hero, passed away five and half years ago. I miss her terribly. Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out are all heroes.

Tonight: Trace n Create Bags

Hi everyone I am busy at work on a new bag using Nancy Zieman's Trace n Create Bag templates by Clover.  I have already sustained a minor burn to my ring finger, but all and all, things are going well.  I will be posting a "quasi" review of the templates later tonight.  Sew, come back later and check it out!

In the meantime, here's an age old question to ponder:  Why do birds fly in a V?


P.S.  I want to thank the ladies at Sew What! for posting my adjustable fabric slide tutorial!  There are a lot of cool tutes on their site.  Check it out!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sew and Sew Sunday

Sew I have been a busy bee this weekend! I made this super easy (when I say "easy" it is EASY) dress as well as a pair of Capri's for my daughter. I scored this fabric and McCall's pattern at Joann's Super Saturday sale. I also bought the fabric for the Capri's as well as for a pair of shorts there. It looks sort of "retro" doesn't it?

I must admit that the Capri's were a bit tricky. I sorted it out in the end by not following the pattern, but by following the directions from a shorts pattern instead. I altered the design as well by adding the trim at the bottoms of each leg. I thought this "diva-fied" them. What do you think?

Okay, two dresses, Capri's, one pair of shorts (done), one more to go...haven't even made a dent in my to do list have I? There is always tomorrow!