Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Best Laid Plans...

I have been very busy with work sewing. Many of the fabrics we use need to be ordered from overseas and the already long ship time can be further delayed by Customs. I am not complaining about paying duty or taxes on these orders, but the delays can make deadlines difficult. The actual sewing time diminishes while the deadlines remain the same and I end up in a rush at the end.

This is the sleeve of a dress I have been working on. I took these pictures to show the difference a little extra line gives in emphasizing the under/overs of the Celtic knotwork. It looks much more finished, doesn't it?
I used a similar knotwork design on the skirt. The area was much smaller, but I wanted to maintain the scale, so I removed the two loops on either side and changed the shape slightly to fit into the background shape better. I made 10 little petal ends like this, got the dress together, sat back to admire the cohesiveness of the design...

...and YIKES! the tip of each skirt end had a horrible little smiling skull face on it!

Below is the sketch, now picture it in white on black.
Can you see it?
Just imagine the horror I found as I prepared to package this up to ship to a sweet little dancer!
I will have to remake the skirt before I can send it and, as I am already behind, I will need to stay up most of the night to do it. Ouch!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Dress

Maisie with Boy. I don't make him much, so he doesn't get much air time here.
On Easter Saturday, as Maisie was being readied for bed, she reminded me of the promise of an Easter dress. I had embroidered out the bunny (from http://www.emblibrary.com/ ) on a leftover piece of cotton already. It was supposed to be a practise stitch out, but I found another piece of the fabric and had enough for a pinafore style without sleeves. The bodice is a from pattern I used for my now 14 year old niece, but no pattern pieces remain. (Yes, I have had UFOs for that long.) I used a full width of the cotton for the front and another for the back, dividing the scrap in half to determine the length.
I found a strip of acetate satin bias for the neckline and decided to use bias to finish the armholes as well. I had cut a lining in satin ( I don't remember why I chose satin) and used it to underline the front section. I should have just lined the bodice as I would have gotten to bed a lot sooner.
The design looked like something was missing and I thought I would embroider some flowers by hand on it but the design was too dense to get a needle through. I gave up and added a little green satin ribbon bow and did a row of green stem stitches under the bias at the neckline to make the colour look a bit more cohesive.
The dress is really a sleeveless jumper and the top underneath was a birthday present from Nana. The tights were a gift from my sister and even though they all came from disparate sources, the end result looked pretty put together.
On Easter Sunday morning, after the egg hunt, we all got ready to go to Church.
As we walked up to the church we saw the sign with the new Mass times, realized Mass was about to let out, and just kept walking around the block and home again. It was our own private Easter Parade!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Vogue 1098

I realized I hadn't put up pictures of Vogue 1098 yet. The repair on the lining went fine. I like the big oval buttons. Round buttons on a voluminous jacket (on my voluminous body) just didn't seem right.
I made a few changes to the pattern, but no major alterations. I cut it about 3" longer than the pattern. in a straight 16 for the upper chest/shoulder area, increasing to an 18 at the side seam. It is large and I could have done a straight 16. The back has a lovely flow with the extra width.
The sleeve alteration took about 1 1/2" (3/4" each side) from the sleeve at the seam where the centre joins the "cuff" seam, tapering up to nothing at the shoulder curve. It is still quite a large sleeve.

I am now working on the sleeves for the teal tweed jacket. They are cut, onse seam sewn and lined to edge. One has been quilted already. I basted the tweed, machine stitched it and have hand sewn the lining up, so it is ready to set in. I have just begun the quilting on the other sleeve.

I looked at beads for on the trim, but I don't want to decorate it so much that I feel self conscious wearing it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I decided to stick withthe suede look fabric. I like the texture of the suede. This way I can make a coordinating skirt from the crepe and not feel too matchy-matchy in the jacket.Channel stitching in variegated thread

Facing sewn on

The pockets are a maybe and are just pinned on in these pictures to figure out placement. I might trim the top edges like I did the jacket edge. I don't like to bring the eye down, so usually avoid things on my hips. They are large enough to call out for attention on their own!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bad Timing?

After waiting forever for the wool crepe from Fabric Mart, I received an email from them saying that the package had been returned and to check the address. All was correct and they shippied it out to me this time, instead of my sister in the US.
In the meantime I found a synthetic suede in a good teal and cut that into a edge band. After I backed it with a layer of lightweight quilt batting, I bagged the outer edge, using silk organza as a facing. Once it was pressed and the edge compared to the jacket for size and shape (which has a clean finished edge already, doh!) I channel stitched it with a variegated cotton embroidery thread in a 30 weight. It is a subtle effect, but noticeable when close up.
At about the time all this had been done, but not yet sewn on, the doorbell rang. Of course, it was the package from Fabric Mart containing the teal wool crepe and of course, it was a perfect colour match for the tweed. Now, what to do? I have a band faced and stitched, which I like, and 5 yards of coordinating crepe.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


The lines are about 2 1/2 to 3" apart. I used a 9 sharp needle and regular Gutterman sewing thread. I looked for hand quilting thread, but couldn't find a colour that was close enough. I have never hand quilted before, but I used to do a lot of hand embroidery and hand sewing for work. The wool is very lightweight and soft and stitching through it was easy. It was a bit harder to do through the areas with interfacing.
Wendy- I didn't use tiger tape, but I did stitch it from the top side. There is a tiny tattersall design in the weave and it gave me lines to follow. It wouldn't be as straight without following that weave.I used the pattern in the weave and tried to get 5 "sections" in each. That isn't five stitches, but 2 overs/3 unders and the reverse.